Written By: Jeff Markunas
Label: Atlantic – Rating:
If somebody has invented a better job than “Rock Star” I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT!
Rock stars come in two basic incarnations – The ‘I’m Famous, please notice me, as I have some groupies and trash my hotel room,’ or The ‘Strap on the guitars, fire up the amps, lay down the beat on the double bass, and Let’s Rock-type.’
The Midwest is particularly fertile ground for producing the latter.
Bob Seeger and John Mellencamp long ago cut a path out of the cornfields and car factories to arena stages world wide. Uncle Kracker is the Midwest’s current great rock hope and carries the torch quite well.
Now some might say that U.K. is a Country Artist, but experience tells us that hangin’ with Kid Rock and Kenny Chesney changed that. Kid and especially Kenny are to Country what a Bentley is to a NASCAR winner’s circle.
Everyone knows that Country and Rock grew up together, and like fraternal twins, they’re sometimes very hard to separate or tell apart. I like the feel and the sensibilities of Happy Hour – it rocks with out screaming in your face.
The production values are extremely sophisticated, and there’s a lot going on in the background, but it never detracts from Kracker’s even-and-steady performance.
A picker will have a great appreciation for what’s going on here. The average listener will only be aware of a comfortable and satisfying performance. Lyrically, Uncle Kracker reminds us that although Americans can be badly bent, they can never be broken. Like, “Take my house ,Take my car but you can’t take my seat at the corner bar,” from “Corner Bar.”
Yes, these are hard times in the Heartland, but fortunately you can’t stop the heart of Rock and Roll from beatin’ – that’s a good thing for all of us!
Rock Bottom Line:
Steady, in-the-pocket performance, every song hits its mark. Bull’s-eye, not Bullshit.
CWG Rating – 4 Guns