Uncle Kracker – Midnight Special
You Got That Thang 3:48, I’d Be There 3:12, Four Letter Word 3:38, Blue Skies 3:44, When I Close My Eyes 4:01, In Between Disasters 3:29, Happy 3:33, Nobody’s Sad On a Saturday Night 3:18, Nuthin’ Changes 3:44, Who We Are 3:12, It Is What It Is 3:35
I truly wanted to love this Uncle Kracker cd. His voice is so stylistic he sings three notes and you know it’s him. His voice is engaging. There are standout tracks on this cd like when he sings “The world looks better in neon lights, cuz nobody’s sad on a Saturday night”, when he sings “You make me want to kiss you or flip you the bird, you’ve always got me thinkin’ of a four letter word”, and when he sings “I never thought again I’d hear your voice, when you packed your bags and pulled out of Detroit” on “When I Close My Eyes”. After that, no matter
Uncle Kracker’s voice is constantly amazing, the songs seem to continually settle into mediocrity. “You Got That Thang’, the opening song, has a catchy beat but immediately begins saying negative things about this woman who’s “got that thang” so I can’t decipher what “that thang” is cuz I I seem to be only hearing about what it ain’t. A rewrite might have changed “you’re in and out of relationships, your nail polish is always chipped” to “You’re fresh out of a relationship, and baby I’m bettin’ all my chips” and “ooh you got that thang” would have been a killer opening line, supporting a great chorus. “If I could I would crawl through this phone, this drink gets me by but it don’t get me home” is a killer second line in the first verse but when the chorus starts with “I wrote you a song…” this tired overused line lost me, even though it was followed by “it’s been so long since I looked in your eyes”. A rewrite of the chorus might have produced “Oh right became wrong and it’s been so long since I looked in your eyes” and might have hooked this song right onto American country radio. “Who We Are” should have been a good times drinkin’ sing along song like “Margaritaville” and even referenced this classic song in the lyric, but the production isn’t sing along “Margaritaville” or “Sloop John B”, it’s produced like a cryin’ in your beer downer song. About the time the 11th
and final song came on and my ears were hoping for a little hope, they heard “It Is What It Is” and “it ain’twhat it ain’t”. I truly hope Uncle Kracker finds a message mantra that works into consistent excellence because if he does he could be the next country musicsuperstar.
Michael Sikorsky for Country Music News International Magazine