I listened to it so you don’t have to. Not since Larry The Cable Guy have I seen a performer so blatantly pander to a woefully simple audience as on Kid Rock’s new album First Kiss. Allow me to list some of the words that are peppered throughout the embarrassing lyric sheet – wine, whisky, beer, bourbon, Jim Beam, Jesus, Bocephus, white lines, guns, America, Johnny Cash, highway, Chevy, truck, banjo, cowboy, Tennessee, moonshine, and more that I can’t remember because I’m sure my brain shut off at some point.
The musicianship on the album is generic but satisfactory. There are only so many chord progressions and melodies you can use in mainstream music but for goodness sake, at least say something worth hearing. Another curiosity is why pull up Band of Heathens to supply the music when Kid Rock already has a very talented live band, Twisted Brown Trucker? I’ve seen them play, many times (hey I was in high school once) and they are an impressive unit yet all of the soul and grit is replaced on this album with music that is indistinguishable from anything on the trendiest pop-country radio station. Kid Rock should at least have the decency to stop pretending to be a rock act when he is so clearly trying to scoop up all the easy country dollars.
On one hand thought, I can’t blame the guy. If I had enough talent to make a living doing what I loved, I’d jump at it. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. People railed against Wall Street after the financial crisis for unethically reaping in cash while not caring about the masses. Kid Rock and the bulk of pop-country music is the 1% – using their considerable talent to make the quick easy dollar and pumping out sub-prime, toxic music that is being packaged and sold as quality art. Shame on them because they should do better and are capable of better. Rolling Stone magazine rated First Kiss 4 out of 5 stars. Shame on Rolling Stone for playing into the charade. This is why indie music is coming up again. This is why the Grammy’s don’t matter. The 99% deserve better than this.