Clay Patrick McBride
November 10, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST

Born Free

Current Status
In Season
Kid Rock
We gave it a B

Both Kid Rock and Born Free producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks) established their reputations while straddling the worlds of hip-hop and heavy metal, and both have revealed over time a penchant for ”authentic”-sounding, geezerish rock. So it comes as no huge surprise that their first-ever collaboration is a meeting of minds, or that the meeting takes place in the metaphorical vicinity of Bob Seger?s back porch. Seger actually turns up to play piano on the breezy Sheryl Crow duet ”Collide,” and the album is full of songs with a distinctly Seger-esque vibe, like the anthemic title track, the big-chorused ”Purple Sky,” and Kid Rock?s heartfelt tribute to his hometown of Detroit, ”Times Like These.” On the one occasion the album does nod to rap by featuring T.I. (alongside Martina McBride, oddly enough) on country shuffle ”Care,” the result makes for a jarring deviation. But for the most part, this is a crisp, hook-heavy collection of old-fashioned rock & roll. B

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