Kid Rock

Rock 'n' Roll Jesus (Atlantic/Top Dog Records)

It's lucky for Kid Rock that he's an egomaniacal dipshit, because otherwise his music would be about as memorable as a Molly Hatchet eight-track sans "Flirting With Disaster." Still, the former Mr. Pamela Anderson's good-humored salutes to his own cocksmanship—not to mention his skill at Xeroxing classic boogie—can't entirely offset occasional pretensions toward relevance.

The Kid's at his best when he's ripping off the past, as on "So Hott," a boneheaded hip-shaker in which he declares, "I wanna fuck you like I'm never gonna see you again," and "Lowlife (Living the Highlife)," an almost-clever dirtbag satire ("The landlord called/The rent is due/I spent it all on a Kiss tattoo"). Trouble is, he wastes half the album trying to prove he has a mature side too. The soporific, string-laden "Blue Jeans and a Rosary" and "When U Love Someone," dominated by timeworn aphorisms like "What you reap is what you sow," represent bogus profundity infinitely more sinful than Jesus' tributes to bad behavior.

That's working at cross purposes.

 
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