Yelawolf: Love Story

Fast-rapping Alabama MC rediscovers his country side

Credit: Martin Linss

Yelawolf's second major-label album trades out the failed stabs at arena rap of his 2011 debut for a stronger embrace of his Southern roots. This time around he's less Eminem, more Kid Rock: Instead of awkward outsourced hooks, the Alabama native serves up slow-burn ballads like "Devil in My Veins" and "Whiskey in a Bottle," where he weaves in and out of cornfed guitar licks. Yelawolf's populist ambitions haven't gone away — check the wave-your-lighter anthem "American You" — but Love Story avoids sanding away all of his edges. Deep down, he's still a proud "American fuck-up" who grew up next to "spoon-cooking heroin junkies" and "methadone clinics."