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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)


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