Kid Rock might swap his pimp lid for a cowboy hat—an inclination more art than fashion—but he remains a bad-ass rock/rapper.

Kid Rock might swap his pimp lid for a cowboy hat—an inclination more art than fashion—but he remains a bad-ass rock/rapper. Witness the swaggering Detroit thump in "Rock n' Roll Pain Train" and lead single "Feel Like Makin' Love." Rock is also versatile, juxtaposing the moody funk of "Black Bob" and Southern rock of "Jackson, Mississippi" with piano-based ballads ("Do It for You"). With lyrics like "Take your shirt off bitch/ And chop me out a line," no one will confuse the Kid with George Jones. That said, he teams with Hank Williams Jr. in the exuberant "Cadillac Pussy" and raps with Billy Gibbons in "Hillbilly Stomp." The artist's production is a sonic party that serves both rock bombast and acoustic atmospheres. That gentle hand belies the "pack your shit" message of "Run Off to LA" (with Sheryl Crow), a fitting representation of Rock's refreshing dichotomy and artistic growth.—RW

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