Sunday, November 12, 2006

KISS me hello

I absolutely love when I get to discover music by complete accident. It's one thing when I seek out a song to download it. It's another when I just hear it out of the blue, get hit upside the head by how good it is, and then can't wait to buy it. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's great.

I had one of those moments last week. I was in Best Buy looking for a DVD that had just come out. If you've ever been in the Best Buy at Wolfchase in Memphis, you know that they play songs from new albums to let you know what's in stock (and hopefully to get you to buy the disc.) Anyway, this particular day, I was determined to go in and get right back out without spending any extra money. However, I heard a song start over the loudspeakers, and it just hit me a certain way. I just stood there listening for a while.

I'm a big fan of 80's arena rock, and I unabashedly admit that I loved hair bands, cheesy metal ballads, and songs that would probably be used on various Rocky soundtracks. You know the kind... songs that talked about fighting, coming out victorious, winning it all...the kind of songs that the grunge era eschewed and nearly wiped out.

This song, however, was all about winning. "Live to win!" it screamed. "Till you die, till the light dies in your eyes, live to win, take it all, just keep fighting till you fall!" I loved it. I had to have it. The voice sounded familiar, but I couldn't peg which artist it was.

It turned out to be Paul Stanley. That explained a lot. Paul Stanley, for those of you who don't know, is the legendary frontman of KISS, a band that I've been a huge fan of for some time. He was the voice behind songs like "Forever," "Love Gun," and "Detroit Rock City."

I bought the CD on the spot. I rarely ever do that.

In the past, KISS members' solo projects have been a mixed bag for me. I sort of liked Ace Frehley's stuff and some of Gene Simmons' songs were okay, but this one by Paul is very awesome. I don't know if it's the fact that Paul's voice reminds me of older KISS favorites. A lot of it has to do with the fact that his style of music is classic and upbeat, but still gritty and raw at the same time. He mixes the gruff and grumbly with the glam and glitzy and it comes out in just the right mixture.

A couple of tidbits about the album: Paul's backing band is the house band that played for CBS's Rock Star (both years.) This is Paul's first solo album in 25 years.

I highly recommend purchasing the album, but if you need more convincing, you can listen to four tracks on his Myspace profile. (If having KISS on Myspace doesn't legitimize the site, then I don't know what would.) You can hear the songs "Live to Win," "Everytime I See You," "Wake Up Screaming," and one of my favorites "Lift."

Rock on!


At 6:13 PM, Blogger FreeThinker said...

Dude, I'm with ya! I love "Live To Win" and I'm seeing Paul Stanley at The Fillmore tonight!

Check my blog in a few days for a review.

You should buy his first solo album from 1978. It's one of my all-time rockin' favorites.

At 12:36 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

Can't wait to see your review. Thanks for dropping by! Believe me, if I can scrounge up a copy of his 1978 album, I'm there...

At 6:47 AM, Blogger bad kitty said...

Oh my gosh...I used to LOVE KISS in the late 70s. But then I turned punk rocker and my KISS vinyl disappeared, I think. But I totally remember when I was in the eighth grade and this guy who lived across the street went to see KISS in concert and I went over to his house after the show and he told me all about it. I used to listen to "Beth" over and over...

Hey, I just realized that my comment on your Carrie Underwood post came up as anon! (I think it was the second comment). Now I realize that you changed your blogger account and so peeps need to sign in differently...Totally missed that before...

At 1:22 AM, Blogger FreeThinker said...

What a show Paul Stanley delivered! Check out my blog for my review. (And you gotta get his 1978 album!)

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Bubba said...

I'm still not sold on the disc as a whole, but it is growing on me. I really enjoy the live bootlegs though. I've posted a couple over on my site, if you're interested.


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