Kid Rock struts back into the spotlight with COCKY, the long-awaited follow-up to his 1998 classic, DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE. Packed with brash tracks like the swaggering first single, "Forever," COCKY sees Detroit's Favorite Son doing what he does best - stirring up a multitude of musical styles into his own unique brand of chicken-fried rock n' roll. Electric metal, streetwise hip-hop, classic country, powerhouse punk, and redneck boogie all combine to make that unstoppable, undeniable Kid Rock sound - the very same sonic assault that blew up radio and MTV with such hits as "Bawitdaba," "Cowboy," "Only God Knows Why", and "American Bad Ass." With larger-than-life arena anthems like "Lonely Road Of Faith," COCKY burns with rambunctilus energy, thanks in large part to the always-brawny backing of the Twisted Brown Trucker band, along with special guest shots from Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg.
Detroit-bred rocker/rapper Kid Rock has reason to be "cocky," as 1998's multiplatinum Devil Without a Cause established the multifaceted artist with the Southern rock influences as a generally likable braggart able to back up his boasts musically. Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker backup band also spawned a successful solo career for DJ Uncle Kracker, who wrote songs for--but whose turntables aren't on--Cocky. With a little help from fab friends, including actor David Spade, and musicians Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg, Cocky covers a mélange of styles, from rap to country, utilizing organ, pedal steel, and harp as well as metallic guitar solos. Ultimately, though, the 14 songs are schizophrenic and not always successful: on "Lonely Road of Faith," Kid Rock turns in a anthemic ballad nearly worthy of Lynyrd Skynrd, whose "Freebird" he samples in the laid-back R&B-flavored "You Never Met a Motherf**ker Quite Like Me," while Crow's vocals on the gentle, country tune "Picture" and the plodding "Midnight Train to Memphis" contrast with the metallic riffs of "I'm a Dog," the nasty "sex rhymes" of "WCSR," and the rapped boasts of the narcissistic title track. Cocky? Indeed. Commendable? Dubious. --Katherine Turman