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Kiss

Rock and Roll Over

Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed the song “Calling Dr. Love” on the review of the Kiss Klassics disc of Sonic Boom, so, for the sake of consistency, I’ll adapt that review for use here. Kiss really showed the kind of album building concept that always worked well for them here. Truly, a lot of the music in the middle part of the disc is rather weak, at least by comparison to the stuff around it. Of course, weak Kiss is usually still pretty good. They use the best two numbers to start and end the disc, making it for a really positive listening experience in retrospective.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Want You

This starts with a pretty acoustic driven approach. When it fires out to the hard rocking section, the change is abrupt, but quite cool. I’ve always thought this was one of Kiss’ most effective numbers.

Take Me
There’s no hesitation or waiting around on this one. It fires out with a smoking hot riff and just plain stomps. It’s all about energy and attitude.
Calling Dr. Love
This is a good tune and does a nice job of balancing between hard rocking and catchy elements.
Ladies Room
This song is adequate, but perhaps it feels a bit like Kiss playing it by the numbers. It seems like it could have been a castaway from the Destroyer sessions.
Baby Driver
The lyrics to this are silly, but the performance just plain screams. It’s one of the coolest cuts here.
Love 'Em And Leave 'Em
Here’s another that feels a bit like Kiss by the numbers. It’s OK, but not all that special.
Mr. Speed
There’s a lot more of an old-time rock and roll texture to this piece. It’s good, and serves as a bit of variety, but it’s just not any kind of standout.
See You In Your Dreams
In some ways this isn’t all that big a departure, but the call and response drum element and some inspired guitar soloing, along with a killer vocal arrangement, manage to elevate it.
Hard Luck Woman
This track has never seemed all that “Kiss-like.” In fact, it really seems to be Kiss’ take on Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” All that said, it’s a great song that works really well. I’d consider it one of the highlights of the set.
Makin' Love
While this track might not have achieved the level of success as some other Kiss songs, it’s actually one of their stronger ones, and one that’s a very good example of what makes Kiss music at its best so great. First, you have a contrast between mellower and harder rocking sections. You have a killer mean riff, a catchy chorus and strong performances by all members of the band. All in all, I couldn’t imagine a better way to end the set on a high note.
 
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