Home Read Classic Album Review: Uncle Kracker | No Stranger to Shame

Classic Album Review: Uncle Kracker | No Stranger to Shame

Kid Rock's DJ retakes center stage with another enjoyably avuncular hick-hop LP.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Usually, the DJ stays behind the band. But Kid Rock’s plate spinner Uncle Kracker is out in front of his boss in more ways than one these days.

Back in 2000 when the Kid was still churning out cliche white-trash rap-metal, Kracker — born Matt Shafer — was heading off in a mellower direction with laid-back hayseed hick-hop and soulful country-tinged tracks like Better Days. It worked well enough that Rock (who co-wrote Kracker’s debut album Double Wide) all but Xeroxed it for his last album Cocky. Except he couldn’t pull it off — at least not as well as his uncle does on the enjoyably avuncular followup No Stranger To Shame. Stepping out of the Kid’s shadow and going it alone, Kracker builds catchy tunes from lazy beatboxes, loose grooves and buzzy guitars, dipping a toe into everything from R&B and blues to Memphis soul and funk, and delivering his vocals with a tangy twang whose personality compensates for his lack of range. And along the way, on tracks like the get-down funk of Keep It Comin’ and swampy blues-rawk of Thunderhead Hawkins, Kracker shows time and again that he has more depth, taste and sincerity than your average Rock star. Just say Uncle, Kid.


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