Happy Hour CD (2009)

Artist: Uncle Kracker

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Product Overview

On Happy Hour, Uncle Kracker's soulful drawl unspools over massively hooky choruses on feel-good songs like the buoyant first single "Smile," the hilarious SoCal-skewering "I Hate California," and the freewheeling "Good To Be Me," in which he sings about riding with the T-Top down in his Cutlass Supreme. Three songs about whom we shall call complicated women -- "California," "Hot Mess," and "My Girlfriend" -- highlight Uncle Kracker's playful humor and dead-on sense of satire, while "Corner Bar" takes a more thoughtful tone by addressing the current economic downturn ("A funny little thing we all call greed / Brought my hometown down to its knees"). Other standouts include a stirring cover of Bob Seger's classic "Main Street" and the lone acoustic ballad "Me Again."

Track Listing
1. Smile
2. Another Love Song
3. My Girlfriend
4. Livin' the Dream
5. Corner Bar
6. Me Again
7. Good to Be Me
8. I Hate California
9. Hot Mess
10. Hey Hey Hey
11. I'm Not Leaving
12. Mainstreet


Label Atlantic/q Records
SKU 211900901
UPC 075678959615
UPC 14 00075678959615
Format CD
Release Date 9/15/2009
Author Uncle Kracker
Artist Bio
Uncle KrackerAfter serving as DJ for his hometown chum Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker (born Matthew Shafer) stepped out from behind the turntables to release his debut solo album, Double Wide, in 2001. Uncle Kracker had performed alongside Rock since 1994, and both favored a combination of funky, post-grunge rock with a hip-hop aesthetic. Double Wide also sported a polished pop single entitled "Follow Me," and the album went double platinum on the strength of that Top 10 hit.Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker were practically family. The two met in 1987 in Clawson, MI, where Rock was spinning in an all-ages DJ contest at a popular nightspot called Daytona's. After discovering a mutual fondness for the Commodores, Run-D.M.C., Lynyrd Skynyrd, and George Jones, the pair became fast friends. Kracker's first musical contribution was on Rock's 1991 debut, Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast, and he also co-wrote and performed on Rock's multi-platinum breakthrough, Devil Without a Cause. Striking while the iron was hot, he chose to launch his own career in the wake of Devil's success.Produced by Kid Rock and Mike Bradford, Double Wide was a radio-friendly effort that blended elements of country, mainstream modern rock, and rap. One year after its release, Uncle Kracker returned with a sophomore album named No Stranger to Shame, scoring another Top 10 hit with a faithful rendition of Mentor Williams' "Drift Away." Taking much from the inspiration of early-'70s rock, he issued Seventy Two & Sunny in late June 2004, but the album failed to live up to its predecessors' success. Kracker renewed his hit-making credentials by co-writing Kid Rock's popular single "All Summer Long," however, and he returned to the solo game in 2009 with Happy Hour.
ReviewSource AllMusicGuide.com
Review Five years have passed between 2004's Seventy Two & Sunny and its 2009 follow-up Happy Hour -- apparently not enough time for Uncle Kracker to re-conceive his way-mellow music but just enough time for him to adopt Auto-Tune and have the smashing idea to employ it on an interpolation of Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again." This graceless grace note sums up Uncle Kracker's aesthetic, how he channels hair metal and commercial hip-hop through soft rock pretty well, and while there's surely some surface appeal to his easy grooves, he undercuts it by acting like the boneheaded Midwestern mook he is. As enamored with big, fake breasts and big, fake smiles as his former benefactor Kid Rock, Kracker doesn't have the guts to jump head-first into bad taste, so he chooses to camouflage his Katy Perry answer song ("my girlfriend's got a girlfriend now / it was cool for a minute now it's bringing me down") and rhymes of "boobies" and "movies" with sings-song choruses and sunshine choruses, some so ingratiating they worm into the subconscious no matter how much you resist. Uncle Kracker also can turn out a genuinely solid slice of soft rock on occasion -- "Good to Be Me" is good enough to reach the Top 50 in 1981 -- but his attitude gets in his way, his party-hearty quips never jibing with his marshmallow music. If Uncle Kracker really is so enamored with hot messes -- "every train wreck's got me buzzin/like i'm drunk on Robotussin" -- then why does every song he sing sound like they're longing to be waiting room anthems?
Reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine
ReviewRating 7
Product Attributes
Artist Uncle Kracker
Label Atlantic/q Records
Music Format Compact Disc

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