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CD Reviews:  Kid Rock: Cocky

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"Guess who's back…" asks Kid Rock in the opening rhyme of "Cocky," the title track of his much-anticipated follow up to the multi-platinum Devil Without a Cause record from 1998. Pulling no fewer punches, violating no less ground, and sugarcoating nothing in his wake, Kid Rock returns with stunning hick-hop rhymes and absolutely predictable material. And, again, it's a doozy!

"Got more money than Matchbox Twenty / Get more ass than Mark McGrath," he taunts playfully, "They say I'm cocky, and I say what? It ain't braggin', motherfucker, if you back it up!" There in lies the boastful rap'n'roll premise of this (and every) Kid Rock collection. He loves women, the thicker in the trunk the better! He loves whiskey, preferably Jim Beam. He loves AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Fleetwood Mac, and borrows from them regularly! In fact, Kid Rock makes no excuses about the fact that he's NOT breaking any new ground. "I got rich off of keeping it real / While all you Radioheads are reinventin' the wheel," he slings in the soulful, over-the-top "Lay It On Me." The raucous "Forever" is Kid's first of likely several radio singles and videos from Cocky, and it is an instant smash with the same guitar-ladened formula that helped "Bawitaba" claim its place a few years ago.

This time out Kid Rock does make a sincere attempt at devoting a larger portion of the project to his now-signature rap rock ballad (think "Only God Knows Why" from the last record). He makes good in this venture, as "Lonely Road of Faith" and "Picture" (a vintage country duet with Sheryl Crow) are two of the best cuts on the record. Not to mention, Alan Jackson or Garth Brooks would kill for Kid's penmanship on "Midnight Train to Memphis." 

But make no mistake, Cocky is still all about Kid Rock's unique ability to melt equal parts classic guitar rock, soulful country twang, and hillbilly rap lyrics into near-perfect four minute sonnets. His efforts do not vary from year to year, his style won't change, and here's hoping the results won't become any less entertaining!

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