As if Kid Rock didn’t shed enough of his Detroit white trash rocker image with the 2007 smash album, ROCK AND ROLL JESUS, toying a little with country music and other softer styles, 2010’s BORN FREE really goes for the country music sound, hardly seeming like a rock album at all. The first few songs might seem a little bit like rock music, but then the album simply becomes just another of those endless and faceless generic country music releases. It quickly becomes nothing special to this listener, although the album did hit the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 Rock Albums chart, which is sort of surprising for a mostly country music album.
Martina McBride, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown, Bob Seger and Trace Adkins all loan their talents to this album, which does feature much better than expected vocal work by Kid Rock. He’s a far better singer than I had previously realized, and much of the song writing is more intelligent here than I expected. And, although this album is definitely far more grownup sounding than his days producing white trash music classics like “Cowboy”, I still miss that sound. “Cowboy” type of hard rock or rap songs are much more of what I’d like to hear from Kid Rock. He used to be a hard rocker not all that long ago.
Strangely, Kid Rock toyed with the idea of making BORN FREE into a three disc set. I thank my lucky stars that didn’t happen. Listening to one album of this was enough to suit me. I like the rocker Kid Rock much more than listening to this type of stuff. This album is just too soft to suit me.
The Bottom Line: Certainly not the the Kid Rock I had expected. Yet, musically a very decent album if your thing is that country music thing. ++1/2(Two and a half stars, or slightly better than fair, nearly good if you like country music. But, an old rocker like me was left absolutely unfulfilled and empty feeling).