Uncle Kracker

Uncle Kracker

No Stranger to Shame

Lava

It is both intriguing and a wee bit disturbing that the kids were lining up for Uncle Kracker the last time around. After all, this is not much more than sub-to-bog standard white soul, devoid of sincerity and personality, and crossed with anemic country and some joke-y rapping. Still, Kracker has this next-door, likeable thing going, so it’s hard to actually dislike the guy. Plus, every song on here can be played on the radio and no one will take offense, which may be a good thing or a bad one, depending on your point of view.

Uncle Kracker tackles the more country based material the best, with the Dobie Gray duet “Drift Away” being alarmingly winning and “To Think I Used to Love You” a fine George Jones, campfire kind of thing. It’s all a bit inconsequential, obviously, but it’s still likeable enough. He doesn’t sound too comfortable on the more rap-oriented material, though, lacking the authority and the presence of the otherwise equally bland Kid Rock, although the Run-DMC style of hidden track “After School Special” actually prove to be the album’s highlight. A weird decision, then, to leave it out from the track list, but there you go.

The rest of it, frankly, is mainly annoying and/or dull. The success of the songs all rest on the hummabilty of the chorus, and generally speaking, they just don’t hold up. It’s too mellow and modest to be seen as plain silly and irresponsibly dumb rock, and it’s too bland and polished to ever matter on any remotely personal level. An album for those who don’t think music’s too hot in the first place. Avoid.

Lava Records: http://www.lavarecords.com

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