I’m going to keep this one short. With Rock N Roll Jesus, Kid Rock crafted a record that incorporated every possible classic southern rock cliche in one place, and it hit #1, his only album to do so. So there was obviously a big market for southern rock nostalgia back in 2007, before country music really assumed this mantle and became much rockier. But even though this album did well financially (without being sold on iTunes, since Kid Rock was feuding with the service at the time), I don’t need to take a lot of time talking about it since you’ve heard it 1,000 times before.
Instead of going through Rock N Roll Jesus track by track and cataloging its legion of influences, I’ll use All Summer Long as a representative sample, even though it’s by far the most obvious one. In this song, Kid Rock uses the chords, chord pattern and guitar tone from Werewolves of London, actually name checks Sweet Home Alabama and spins a tale straight out of the Bob Seger or Bruce Springsteen story book. Once the song ends, and I admit that I tap my foot along with it every single time I hear it, I don’t go on to the next song on the album. I always switch over to a Warren Zevon song, or a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, or a Bob Seger song or a Springsteen song. And then I don’t come back to Rock N Roll Jesus.
I give Kid Rock props for keeping his concert ticket prices low and making his music accessible to the widest possible audience. Hopefully some of the people who hear these songs will explore where they came from and move on from this lackluster tribute.