That Kid Rock‘s new Rebel Soul album possesses a rather sizeable defiant streak shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed his career over the past two decades, though there are some subtler moments mixed in with all the stompers … namely, a pair of tracks — “Midnight Ferry” and “Mirror” — where Rock stops raging, and, instead, ruminates on life and death.
You know, within reason, of course.
“‘Midnight Ferry,’ it’s really dark, but it’s not a dark song; it’s reflective, but it’s happy, it’s celebratory. I know what I want played at my funeral: That’s the song!” he told MTV News. “I was telling that to somebody recently and they were like ‘Dude, that’s dark.‘ And I’m like, ‘No, everything’s cool, trust me. I’m in the bonus round of life now.’ God forbid I gotta check out any time soon, but, I’m like, ‘It’s cool, it’s been a good ride.’”
Those same sentiments apply to “Mirror,” where Rock takes a long look at himself and the life he’s led. And while you might think the track is downright dour, well, remember, this is Kid Rock we’re talking about here … and like he said; his life has been a good ride indeed.
“I just pictured myself having an honest conversation in the mirror … you know, Bob Richie talking to Kid Rock. But it’s not, you know, ‘Oh, I’m so successful and I feel alone,” he laughed. “Because I’m so fortunate and blessed to be still making music and have people come out and see me play; you’re not gonna catch me bitching on any level. It’s a song that’s better to be heard, it’s tough to talk about. I can talk all day about ‘Cucci Galore.’”
Okay then. “Cucci,” as you are probably aware, is perhaps the most unrepentant — and over-the-top — moment on Rebel Soul, a callback to Kid Rock’s hard-partying heyday that — not surprisingly — he’s just released an appropriately ridiculous video for. One that very prominently features his brand-new alter ego, a dude named Bobby Shazam.
“Oh, man, Bobby. He probably came from having too many adult beverages, and trying to come up with something fun and different to do musically, and maybe have this character that could come out at shows,” Rock explained. “He’s just this psychotic rock and roller. Like, I picture his dad being a roadie for REO Speedwagon, and his mom was a high-priced call girl somewhere, and he’s just out of his mind. So we named him Bobby Shazam, and we’ll see if we can bring him to life onstage or not.”
And, in a lot of ways, both Bobby and “Cucci Galore” sum up Rock’s Rebel Soul album perfectly … after all, he’s put in the work, he’s suffered through lean times and now, you know, he wants to share the good times with us all.
“It’s great, but it was a ton of work when I was young. I really busted my butt for a long, long time,” he said. “When I look back now, I think about how scary it was, because I’m convinced I’d still be playing music at some level now, and I’d be a working-class musician; and that’s a tough life. So I feel lucky and blessed every single day to still have people want to hear the music and come see it live.”
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