The title Rebel Soul
has a couple of implications. One is the literal one, that the album is a merger, redneck soul music. This comes out in tracks like "Celebrate", which sounds like a cross netween "Gimmie Some Loving", swamp rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd
. Or "The Mirror" and "Chickens in the Pen", which sound like Southern fried Prince
songs; "Chickens" merging Southern boogie and Morris Day
-style funk rock.
But the concept of redneck soul doesn't carry throughout tge album; it's predominately Southern rock and country rock. There's some ZZ Top
-esque boogie("3 Catt Boogie"), Kid's tribute to the city that spawned him (Detroit, Michigan) recalls Randy Newman
's "I Love L.A.", with its lyrics paying tribute to everyone from Rosa Parks and Henry Ford to Detroit music legends Marvin Gaye
, Aretha Franklin
and George Clinton
, though surprisingly ignoring Detroit's rich hip-hop history (least of all Kid Rock's friend Eminem
), which kick started Kid Rock's music career. Similarly, "Mr. Rock 'n Roll" has a lyric saying hip-hop hasn't got any soul, but for a former hip-hop artist to say that reflects the creative bankruptcy of modern hip-hop, that it can't live up to old school legends like Public Enemy
, whose Flavor Flav
's "yeahhhh boiiii" is sampled on "Cucci Galore". Kid Rock has a point about modern hip-hop; even Public Enemy have been making mediocre albums as of late.
Of course while creatively channeling Hank Williams Jr.
on "Redneck Paradise" and Creedance Clearwater Revival
on "Let's Ride", there is some repetition, with "The Mirror" repeating the autotuned country arrangement style of "Only God Knows Why" and the title track sounding like a "Born Free" rewrite.
While a few tracks aren't very memorable, the LP really starts off strong with 5 perfect tracks in a row, the best on the album being "Let's Ride", which is a tribute to America's military, for all the thungs they do to protect our country, serving American values with their consciences as their guide.
, overall is a solid, entertaining album that sticks to Kid Rock's best strengths as a singer and songwriter. It is his first album to feature zero rapping, and was his least hip-hop influenced album to date, though it also lacks the hard rock and metal influences of his earlier albums. But it is still a good, fun listen with sone excellent songwriting.