Album Review | ROCK

Kid Rock, ‘Rebel Soul’

Whatever one might say about Kid Rock, you can’t say he isn’t dedicated: to repping his beloved hometown Detroit, to acknowledging his own musical heroes — from Seger to Aerosmith to Run DMC — to recognizing the power of a good time, however that might be defined for the listener. (For him it apparently includes lots of wine.) Rock’s been doing all that since his ’90s breakthrough, but it’s been a long time since he’s sounded like he’s having as much fun doing it as he does on “Rebel Soul.” The record offers his signature blend of rock, country, hip-hop, and pop with a slightly larger (and business-savvy) emphasis placed on the country sensibility, with a few well-placed shots of soul. The clutch of bona fide, roll ’em down, turn it up car crankers — including the Stones-y “Chickens in the Pen” and “3 CATT Boogie” — compensate for the more boilerplate raunch-and-rollers and Auto-tuned ballads. Throughout the album, Rock, who clearly understands his vocal limitations, employs some dynamite backup singers who enliven, fill out, and otherwise beautify their surroundings nicely. (Out Tuesday)

Sarah Rodman


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