the gang returns for a salute to the troops …
Who knew this crew could be so divided over a song? When we told the columnists about this week’s selection “Let’s Ride” by Kid Rock, we were met with immediate bile and hate. The K-I-D has a polarizing effect on people — some can’t get into his ‘devil without a cause’ hybrid of hayseed and hip-hop while others enjoy him in a guilty pleasure sort of way, secretly bopping their head to his anthems. Yet there are still some, like our editor-in-chief, who truly, truly dig the man with the ‘long hair swinging middle finger in the air.”
So without further adieu, we present, in order of response, The Singles Party’s thoughts on Kid Rock’s “Let’s Ride” off his Rebel Soul album.
Lauren Stern: I really hate Kid Rock as a musician but for the sake of this column, I gave his new song “Let’s Rock” a shot. No surprise, I hated it. I feel like it totally gives off this desperate “I really want to be relevant again but I’m as ancient as dust” vibe. At this point Kid, it’s best for all of us if you put the ol’ guitar away and retire. It’s time.
Also, I want to mention that I am 1000000 percent in support of the armed forces but the whole idea of writing about the army should be put to rest already. I feel like everything that has come out over the years about this topic has that overdone Creedence Clearwater Revival-type sound. I get why this may be cool for some of the older demographics in our country but if you’re trying to attract everyone (esp the Top 40 listeners) it’s just not going to work. Us young folk like the meaningful stuff, so if you’re going to write a song about war, it has to be subtle, deep, and probably by an artist like Justin Bieber. If it’s not, well let’s fact it, we won’t pay attention.
Anyway, I digress. My verdict is One and Done — just like Kid Rock’s career should have been a long time ago.
Kelly Gonsalves: When Kid Rock was selected for the next installment of this column, the poor guy admittedly came under some immediate fire from my fellow columnists. I honestly cannot say why – to me, Kid Rock has always epitomized that feeling you get when you have just climbed to the top of the world, conquered all obstacles, and took a nice shit on everyone below you. “Let’s Ride” pays homage to the classic Kid Rock bad-assery. That is, it’s the perfect background music for that closing scene of the anti-hero riding off into the sunset on his motorcycle right after fucking up the po-po or something. Think Arnonld Schwarzennegar or other such meat-headed thug-smashers on motorcycles. Featuring a nice, gradual transition from simple but dramatic string of guitar chords to a bombastic shred sesh, plus some screechy cowboy-goes-rocker vocals – let’s be real. This song has it all when it comes to good ol’ American rock-n-roll. Verdict: Add to Playlist.
Brent Johnson: Oh, Kid Rock. It’s one thing to write a touching, intelligent song supporting the brave, selfless soldiers who fight for the United States. It’s another thing to write a blustery, cliched wanna-be anthem about bleeding red, white and blue and blissfully toting guns to war — with a riff that sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd channeling an AC/DC cover band. I’m sure some people will find this patriotic. I just find it bad. Verdict: One and Done.
Jason Kundrath: It’s a policitally charged world out there. And the history of rock ‘n’ roll is filled with artists using the medium as a platform for their positions. Given Kid Rock’s affinity for the South, it’s perhaps no surprise that his politics follow the standard model of modern Country stars: Go America! Nevermind the context! Shoot ’em up! Fuck yeah! But let’s be honest, Kid Rock is more or less the last big rock star of his kind. He’s way too big to offer thoughtful insight on international conflict, and no one expects him to. This one is strictly for the troops. So instead we get an extremely derivative classic-rock song, rife with painfully cliche lyrics that range from embarassing to cringe-worthy. The troops deserve our support. But they can probably do better than this. Verdict: One and Done.
Bill Bodkin: Admittedly, I love Kid Rock. While I may not be enamored with every single he puts out, I heartily enjoy his body of work. It’s fun, unpretentious and larger than life. I also have to give him major credit for being one of the biggest supporters of our troops and being one of the big stars who does shows for the USO on the regular. So “Let’s Ride” makes perfect sense to be in his catalog — it’s a big, unpretentious and fun tribute to our soldiers. Is this his best work? No. It has its shortcomings. Lyrically, it’s not Kid’s best work and in an odd way “Let’s Ride” could’ve been a much more grandiose, badass rock ‘n’ roll epic. Instead we get a little more of a subdued (well, as subdued as Kid Rock can be) Southern rock song and I’m fine with that. Overall, this is a solid track that’s worth more than just one listen. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.
Final Verdict: We await Joe Zorzi’s vote, but I was informed he is not a fan of this song either, so we are officially ONE AND DONE with this track from Kid Rock.