Kid Rock
Devil Without a Cause


5.0
classic

Review

by PolyrhythmStew USER (7 Reviews)
April 16th, 2018 | 45 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Now get in the pit and try to love someone!

The main reason I'm writing this review is because I know this site's community doesn't like Kid Rock. So I'm going to shove the awesomeness of one of my generation's best singer-songwriters in your faces. Kid Rock has been going strong in the music industry since 1990, and this album in particular celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It's the favorite of many hard rock fans, though I actually consider his self-titled album to be his best over this one.

Devil Without a Cause is a monster achievement hard rock album, though, and in my opinion, the best rap-metal album ever made, and the most seemless fusion of rap and rock since Urban Dance Squad. UDS is the best rap-rock band of all time, but Kid Rock and his band Twisted Brown Trucker achieved something different with their music: They made rock great again. Kid Rock was a shining example of classic hard rock in an era when hard rock was basically dead.

The late 90s "butt rock" radio blasted mostly "alternative", "nu-metal" and corny heavy metal. The underground metal scene was dominated by boring thrash metal. Kid Rock's brand of rock was sourced from richer, more powerful influences: Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Hank Williams Jr., the Beastie Boys, Run DMC and David Allen Coe were among the long list of ingredients in Kid Rock's jumbo stew of hard rock.

Coming out of Romeo, Michigan and making hos bids as a young rapper in Detroit in the late 80s and early 90s (subjecting his autobiographical rhymes to Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp, two tracks from which were re-recorded for Devil), Kid Rock progressed with each album, evolving his sound to a finely crafted blend of Southern rock, hard rock and rapping showcased here: an alcoholic, redneck stoned pimp attacking the mic like "a razor-blade slitting through a wrist of hate", macking in a Fleetwood, finding his inspiration in a bag of weed and starting an escort service for all the right reasons, his goals are to paint the town red and the sheriff's wife white, and he can smell a cop from a mile away.

While the Kid has since expanded his setlist beyond rap, to the point where many of his subsequent albums don't even feature rapping anymore, in his rap-driven days, Kid Rock was the white Rakim. Devil Without a Cause has the power of a classic like Rakim's Follow the Leader, Boogie Down Productions' Criminal Minded, Run-DMC's Raising Hell or the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill, while also recalling Skynyrd, early AC/DC and some primo outlaw country, wrapped up in a haze of marijuana seen through a glass of Jim Beam.

Kid Rock knocks out one rocking tune after another, and one of Devil's greatest feats is that it is so listenable, perhaps the most playable album of 1998: not a single-track is skippable, from the mosh-pit ready opener "Bawitdaba", dedicated to all of Kid's rowdy friends (gangstas, hookers, bikers, and drug addicts), to country-rap toe-tappers like "Cowboy", "Wasting Time" and "Black Chick, White Guy" to the Southern rock stoner anthem "I Am the Bullgod", where Kid Rock fires up a phat blunt to prepare to mow lawns for his paycheck while listening to his walkman.

And perhaps what's most impressive about Kid Rock is that while his live shows are defined by his powerful backing band Twisted Brown Trucker (including keyboardist Jimmy Bones and drummer Stephanie Eulinberg), Kid Rock actually played pretty much every instrument on this album himself, multitracking overdubs with additions by session musicians and some sampled elements. A former hip-hop DJ who cut for local rappers in Detroit, Kid Rock learned every instrument in his backing band, and one of the most impressive acts of showmanship in his live concerts was to solo on every instrument from guitar to turntables to drums. Woodstock '99 even saw Kid Rock conducting TBT with his drumsticks on some chaotic jamming.

While his other albums and live performances showvase other influences more (his music has incorporated everything from soul, blues, rock and country to jazz, funk and hip-hop), this album mostly focuses on Kid Rock's hard rock style, but the tracklist varies it's sound to keep things from being too repetitive: there's a country ballad (Only God Knows Why), a little blue-eyed soul (I Got One For Ya) and an old school hip-hop track (Welcome 2 the Party), and the lyrical content isn't all about cockiness and hedonism neither: "Black Chick, White Guy" is the real-life story about the mother of Kid Rock's son, who he met in Junior High and had a son with around 1993 (after finding out that he was not the father of her little girl). "Only God Knows Why" is pretty reflective, too, talking about how it's difficult for him to make friends and settle down with a woman because of his fame and fortune, as people sometimes are more attracted to the money than him.

There's also a couple of noteworthy guest verses, too: a young Eminem fits perfectly into the wild sound of Devil, dedicating his verse to "teenagers who hate school", and the late Joe C., a pot-smoking dwarf ("3 foot 9, with a 10-foot dick") turns up a memorable, awesome verse on the title track. And two of my favorite Kid Rock songs are programmed back to back here: "Someone's Gotta Feel This" and "Fist of Rage", both are basically in a Southern rock style

This album rocks, plain and simple. It's a classic that has played for 20 years, and another 30 years from now, this album will continue to be as influential on future and current hard rock and heavy metal bands as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Uriah Heep influenced the 70s throwback hard rockers, because perhaps without one Michigan redneck in love with Skynyrd and the Rolling Stones, modern devotees to classic rock like Tenacious D and The Mooney Suzuki wouldn't have achieved their level of success. So I don't give a rat's butt if you hate Kid Rock, he saved rock and roll with his Diamond-selling album. Alternative rock and nu-metal were killing real rock, and Kid Rock brought it back. He deserves applause for that alone, that because of Kid Rock alternative rock and nu-metal are dead and we'll never hear that garbage again. But Devil stands strong. I am definitely down with the Devil.



Recent reviews by this author
Kid Rock First KissKid Rock Rebel Soul
Kid Rock Born FreeKid Rock Rock N Roll Jesus
Kid Rock Kid RockKid Rock Cocky
user ratings (231)
Chart.
2.7
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Josh D.
April 16th 2018


14092 Comments


No.

DinosaurJones
April 16th 2018


8859 Comments


WWE Hall of Famer, KID ROCK!

BigBlob
April 16th 2018


3479 Comments


gr8 review

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 16th 2018


26001 Comments


I don't give a rat's butt

Digging: A Perfect Circle - Eat the Elephant

Josh D.
April 16th 2018


14092 Comments


"Kid Rock actually played pretty much every instrument on this album himself"

Where are you getting this from?

MO
April 16th 2018


22220 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol

Sevengill
April 16th 2018


8353 Comments


"I'm going to shove the awesomeness of one of my generation's best singer-songwriters in your faces."

no

"It's the favorite of many hard rock fans"

as in many rock fans who are aroused?

Sevengill
April 16th 2018


8353 Comments


your writing is quality (fourth-wall breaking notwithstanding), so this was actually a good read. keep it up.

bloc
April 16th 2018


49248 Comments


Where was he at Wrestlemania man, he let me down

Digging: Inferi - Revenant

hal1ax
April 16th 2018


10640 Comments


dude weed



also -- "in his rap-driven days, Kid Rock was the white Rakim." ...

DinosaurJones
April 16th 2018


8859 Comments


I think he knew if he came out on stage at WM, he'd be boo'd mercilessly. So he just went to the HOF ceremony and said fuck it to WM.

BlackwaterPork
April 16th 2018


3849 Comments


What is this

Digging: Thy Light - No Morrow Shall Dawn

PsychicChris
April 16th 2018


287 Comments


MY NAME IS KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

DinosaurJones
April 16th 2018


8859 Comments


KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID
ROCK

bloc
April 16th 2018


49248 Comments


Oh yeah true. I also heard he maybe got heat after the HoF because he brought up politics lol

theNateman
April 16th 2018


3316 Comments


"the greatest rock rap band ever"

Do you even Beastie Boys? Or Run-DMC?

Digging: The Wonder Years - Sister Cities

kintups55
April 16th 2018


15 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I used to love this album when I was 10. It hasn't held up all these years later, outside of providing a few nostalgic and catchy songs, I don't find the album to be as entertaining as you do.



This is a solidly interesting read, since your writing style isn't bad or too generic, but try to work a bit on your grammar and fix a few things in here that are a bit inaccurate (Claiming Kid Rock killed Nu-Metal and Alt, saying he played all the instruments himself, proclaiming this will be as influential as Led Zep or Sabbath, calling him the "White Rakim", etc). Most of these are pretty false and hamper the review.

Doctuses
April 16th 2018


886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Digging: Behemoth - Messe Noire

Doctuses
April 16th 2018


886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Maco097
April 16th 2018


2712 Comments


More like Kid Cock



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy