Born Free by Kid Rock

The Southern rock, blues and country influences that have always been an undercurrent in Kid Rock’s music take center stage now that he has broken free from the rap and metal styles that permeated his past seven studio albums.

Kid declares his loyalty to his hometown of Detroit, despite the economic downturn in process, on “Times Like These.” His scratchy, craggy voice strains on the piano-driven, Bruce Springsteen-esque title track, a freedom anthem in which he states, You can knock me down and watch me bleed / But you can’t put no chains on me.

Collaborations pepper the album: “Flyin’ High” features Zac Brown, while Martina McBride contributes soaring vocals on the second verse of the R&B-flavored “Care,” with rapper T.I. providing stylistic counterbalance. Kid re-teams with his “Picture” duet partner Sheryl Crow for “Collide,” this time adding fellow Detroit native Bob Seger to the mix.

As he moves beyond his rap boundaries into more country-rock fare, this album is a step forward for the Kid.

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