Kid Rock - All Summer Long
Owain Paciuszko 21/08/2008
There are so many more important things that I could be doing than music criticism. I could be a teacher, a doctor, a policeman or fireman, a lifeguard, a mechanic, a sweet shop owner, a proper journalist reporting on world events and politics, but, no, I write reviews of stuff. Usually this is a job that has little or no bearing on life as we know it, I can praise an album and see it overlooked, or I can slate it and find that it still reaches the top of the charts anyway. But this doesn't really matter to me, c'est la vie, it's not going to bring about the apocalypse if nobody else thinks Mull Historical Society's third album is a masterpiece or is anxious because Ed Harcourt gets dropped by his record label.
However, in this instance I suddenly feel like the accidental hero, one of the 'few' in a position of power capable to try and steer the world away from disaster; alas I may already be too late. Like Mel Gibson in that film about aliens I should have seen the signs, I was being followed, stalked by a song. It began in my old job a few months ago, I was 'happily' washing dishes in a Cardiff Bay restaurant when I heard the first notes of 'Werewolves of London' strike up on the radio and thought to myself; "Wow, they're playing Warren Zevon!" But suddenly something terrible happened, this processed drum-beat kicked in over the top, I feared a remix, but little did I know things were about to get a lot worse. Along came a vocal, it sounded uncannily like Bryan Adams circa 'Summer of 69' and it was singing out lyrics even more redundant, yet thematically related; however instead of reminiscing of his 'first real six string' he was prattling on about 'dancing to Sweet Home Alabama' and it was then that I began to notice the all-too-familiar chords of that guitar riff. Suddenly things had taken a turn for the nightmarish, whoever this was had not only bastardized Mr. Zevon but now Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' was being sampled for the benefits of a 'summer pop hit'. I was horrified, and when I found out the culprit responsible was Kid Rock I was baffled. Foolishly, I ignored my outrage, and carried on with my life.
A few weeks later and I was shopping in my local Co-Op when suddenly I heard the first notes of 'Werewolves of London' strike up on the radio and thought to myself; "Wow, they're playing Warren Zevon!" But again, something terrible happened. It couldn't be? It was! That processed drum-beat kicking in once more, and that vocal returning like the supposed dead serial killer at the end of the horror movie. I had almost even blocked out the memory of its next victim, until that 'Sweet Home Alabama' referencing prelude to the chorus began sending an icy shiver down my spine. But still, despite the horror of hearing this song again, I carried on with my shop and continued about my business; thinking that if I ignored it it would just go away.
A week ago when I got back from work (a different job by this point, if there's one thing I can be relied upon it's changing my circumstances more than I change my socks) there was a little red card from the Post Office saying they couldn't fit a packet through the letterbox. I arranged redelivery and eagerly awaited Saturday morning when the suspected bundle of CDs would turn up. Sure enough, around 11am, the postman arrived and handed me a bulging Jiffy Bag of CDs. I eagerly returned to my room and tore off the selotape and there, looking up at me was the face of the Devil himself; Kid Rock. No longer was I safe, the enemy was in my home and I was duty-bound to let him enter my CD player and fill my ears once again. At long last I understood my purpose, I had to warn others of this song, even though the release date had long since past and the song had already reached number 1 on the UK singles chart. I hope that this tale will reach those yet to be corrupted and spare them the awful fate of spending three minutes and forty six seconds (that's just the radio edit) in the company of Mr. Rock and his mash-up of doom.
Though now, looking at it, I begin to suspect that I have not been sent this single as a catalyst to prompt me into action. I think that it is a token of mockery, reminding me that I was given two warnings, two chances to try and halt the rise of Rock and I failed. The one time I, as a music critic, would be able to make a difference and I let everyone (and myself) down and now I must live with this single as an albatross round my neck.