Devil Without A CauseKid Rock
I heard all of the singles off of this when it came out in 1998 on MTV or the radio, and I'll ask now what I asked then: If you are outside of the demographic where rap-rock/nü-metal was popular (not in the age range to be an aggro-douche at Woodstock 99), what is there to like about this? An artistic persona that's just as contrived as Vanilla Ice without any of the backlash, "old school" rap stylings on Welcome 2 the Party that owe less to Run-DMC's King of Rock than to some middle-aged white doofus dropping "My name is Steve and I'm here to say...". This is as credible as an unfunny rapping grandma sketch that you'd find from a bad improv group in Des Moines. The language or misogyny on this aren't the main offenders for me - instead this album just feels contrived and cynical and lazy. To those who claim that this album is good or important because it blends metal and hip hop and country, who cares? I can mash rockabilly, Tuvan throat singing, and Portuguese fado together, and that doesn't result in anything good simply because nobody's blended those genres together. And the lasting influence of this album is pretty much limited to bro-country artists who learned that cynically adopting a faux-redneck persona and singing about eating riblets at Applebee's and drinking cheap beer in a field (you know, "simple pleasures" that these musicians wouldn't be caught anywhere near) will move a few units. On the plus side, the guitars on the track Devil Without a Cause are pretty cool.