“Diamond in the rough” is an interesting phrase as it implies that there is a shiny jewel amongst some unpleasant or unwelcome surroundings. The “rough” element could be interpreted as being uglier or distasteful. However you wish to take this phrase, this reviewer wishes to use it in the context of a band member who takes to performing in the background whilst their employer takes the limelight.
Kid Rock is very lucky to have a talent so evident as Jessie Wagner working on his latest studio albums and performing live as his backing singer. Army of the Underdog is a seven track extended player and her announcement to the world that she has talent and a versatile taste in music. There is soul, funk and alternative rock dancing with each other as a tasteful dosage of pop sprinkles its magic on top.
The listener gets to experience a professional and cohesive delivery from both Wagner and her band Envy. Personality and frivolous behavior surfaces on Shakin’ My Head (SMH) as the listener is tempted in shakin’ their anatomy to the right and the left. The rock is injected in to the title track and Backseat Girl, while soul is invested to the chilled out Stuck in My Own Way. Take Me Over has a riff that might have belonged to Jimi Hendrix and when these guys rock, hints of Living Colour and 24-7 Spyz arguably find their way in to the mix.
OH is full of funk and makes no apology for the fact, whilst the bonus track tucked on the end of Army of the Underdog goes by the title of Party Revolution. Funk finds its way down this avenue too, with subtle brass and an obvious groove helping the party along in fine style.
This is a welcome listening experience offering up bright sunshine, a warm breeze and a chilled beer with lashings of sexual tension if you can handle it. Army of the Underdog should have you reaching for something to mop the sweaty brow and have you checking your pulse on repetitive listens.