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Happy Hour

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Uncle Kracker 9/15/2009

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? ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Smile Uncle Kracker 3:20
  3. 2 Another Love Song [Mono Version] Uncle Kracker 3:30
  4. 3 My Girlfriend Uncle Kracker 2:59
  5. 4 Livin' the Dream Uncle Kracker 3:43
  6. 5 Corner Bar Uncle Kracker 4:15
  7. 6 Me Again Uncle Kracker 3:33
  8. 7 Good to Be Me Uncle Kracker 4:11
  9. 8 I Hate California Uncle Kracker 3:36
  10. 9 Hot Mess Uncle Kracker 2:50
  11. 10 Hey Hey Hey Uncle Kracker 3:26
  12. 11 I'm Not Leaving Uncle Kracker 4:26
  13. 12 Mainstreet Uncle Kracker 3:25
  14. 13 [CD-Rom Track] Uncle Kracker null:null

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