Rebel Soul will hit stores November 19, almost exactly two years after the release of Born Free. (Because that's a Monday, the assumption is that that's the international release date -- most albums are released on Tuesdays in the States.) What's odd is that the press release refers to Rebel Soul as a "return to form," a phrase that might lead one to think that Rock was somehow unhappy with Born Free. The statement goes on to say that Rebel Soul "cements [Rock's] place as the premier genre-hopping rock and roller of all time." Did Rock have some misgivings about Born Free?
For the answer, we should go back to June 2011, when Rock was discussing the direction he wanted to take for his next record. He said he wanted the record to combine "some really good, fun rock songs" alongside "some of the country stuff" and "some of the mix of hip-hop and rock and blues and try to make a nice mix of a record. But a fun record, not serious. Rick Rubin made me a little serious." The veteran producer had been behind the boards for Born Free, which was probably Rock's most heartfelt, sincere disc. Considering that Rebel Soul is produced by Rock alone, it's clear he decided he wanted a different tone for the new disc.
Photo: Jeremy Deputat.