20 albums in and the American rock group KISS is still at it.
Kiss released their latest album, Monster, October 9th. It is treading typical Kiss ground, featuring a wide assortment of production and song-writing from lead singer Paul Stanley, and typical lyrical tropes of hell, sex, and who the best rock band in the world is (My guess- Kiss).
You have to respect a band holding the torch decades after their inception, and holding on to what makes them who they are. Kiss coat this album in exactly what fans are expected to enjoy. The riffs are strong, the lyrics not so much. But Kiss are doing nothing but being themselves.
Critical attention has been oddly good for a modern day Kiss album. Reception says it is one of the strongest albums by the band in years, and an excellent successor to 2009’s ‘Sonic Boom.’
Artists have a hard time getting a grip on what their new material has to say, and what its legacy will ultimately be. This is not the case for Kiss, where Stanleysaid the following about ‘Monster’: ‘How do we define who we are today without losing who we’ve been?’ So, that was a tall order for us, but once we got that under our belts, we wanted to go back in and Monster is far, far beyond anything we’ve done in terms of Sonic Boom and yet it’s right up there with some of the best stuff we’ve done. It’s KISS.”
It is weird to hear Kiss trying to ‘find’ themselves after 40 years of making music, but it is apparent in their musical progression. Is it in line with the best they have ever done? Unlikely, but Kiss have been nothing but themselves every album out. In that way, every album is honest as rock stardom can be- and just as good.
1. Hell or Hallelujah
2. Wall of Sound
4. Back to the Stone Age
5. Shout Mercy
6. Long Way Down
7. Eat Your Heart Out
8. The Devil is Me
9. Outta This World
10. All For the Love of Rock and Roll
11. Take Me Down Below
12. Last Chance
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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