Kid Rock, ‘First Kiss’ [Listen]
On his new single “First Kiss,” Kid Rock looks back once again. Nostalgia fits him well as he approaches his mid-40s. The song blends classic rock and country seamlessly.
Rock’s rhyming is so conversational you almost miss it, but when it comes to sing the song back, it’s surprisingly easy to do. He’s a master wordsmith, and this one finds him square in a thick, mainstream arrangement that grows from the early “Summer of '69” comparisons.
“I remember waiting for the school bus / Jenny Clayton was my first crush / And neither one of us had a clue / An old Cheyenne, it was my first truck / Rusted, rough and kinda beat up / But when she jumped in it felt brand new,” Kid Rock sings over a steady guitar riff to begin “First Kiss.” A warble of pedal steel and acoustic come in partway through and it builds to a roll-down-the-windows chorus:
“’Cause it reminds me of my first kiss / And those days that I always miss / Tom Petty on the radio / Going steady with nowhere to go / No money just time to spend / An old Chevy and a couple friends / Oh how I wish that I could go back in time / Just to love you again.”
There are similarities to his “All Summer Long,” but the stories deviate in later verses. This love isn’t as fleeting, but the memories are as scorched into his conscious.
“I remember drinking from the same cup / We’d break up just to make up / I remember falling in love with you / Smokin’ cigarettes on the tailgate / Man it seems like it was yesterday / When Main Street felt like Park Avenue,” the Romeo, Mich. native sings.
Guitars and Kid Rock’s familiar backing singers make the song into something of an anthem if you’re digging it by the final chorus. Feel free to pump a fist in the cool spring air. You won’t be alone.
Why Fans Will Love It: Kid Rock is good at nostalgia, and he's a better songwriter than anyone wants to give him credit for.
Key Lyrics: "And now that time has taken over / And we can’t fight this getting older / But somehow baby we made it through / And every time I’m a lookin’ at you / It reminds me of my first kiss."
Did You Know?: So, who is Jenny Clayton? Kid Rock tells Classic Rock she doesn't exist. He made up a name that rhymed well with "I remember waitin' for the school bus," the opening lyric to "Just Kiss."
Listen to Kid Rock, “First Kiss”