KISS Review

artist: KISS date: 07/18/2016 category: compact discs
Released: Feb 18, 1974
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Casablanca
Number Of Tracks: 10
Along with 1976's "Destroyer," Kiss' self-titled debut is their finest studio album, and has only improved over the years.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (3) 3 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
KISS Reviewed by: jamiedonnelly93, on march 31, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The albums sound is really gritty and dirty but in a good way, the distortion sounds really amazing because it isnt amazing but it has that retro feel to it. This bieng the first Kiss album it wasn't really a big hit when it came out and wasn't until 1975 when Alive! came out that people went back and bought the old albums and realised what they were missing out on. You can see Peter Criss' roots on this album and especially on Nothing To Lose as it has such an R'n'B feel towards it wheras Gene, Paul and Ace have more of a Led Zeppelin Classic rock kind of playing. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are a bit too cliche but they are very good, their is a sexual innuendo in Nothing To Lose, which is in reference to anal sex, 'Before I had a baby, We tried everyway, I thought about the backdoor, I didn't know what to say'. But all of the lyrics are cleverally put together. All of the lyrics go well with the music and the overall vocalists are very good, however in years to come Paul Stanleys vocal range increases massively. // 8

Overall Impression: I believe that this album is unique, as it has its own sound, its own musical influences and its own feel to it that no other band really has on albums anymore. All of the songs are impressive of the album but if I had to choose one song of the entire album that stands our the most it would have to be Deuce. The intro riff is amazing. the solo is amazing. the lyrics are amazing. The song just has so much feeling to it and such a great energy you just want to headbang to the song for ever. If I had lost the album I would go out and buy it again, however this is not the strongest of Kiss albums. But it is a great album. // 10

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overall: 7.3
KISS Reviewed by: theMusicFan, on july 18, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: KISS are a band that many love to hate. Whether it's the makeup, dumb lyrics, or... Gene Simmons, there have always been reasons to slam the group. That's not to say all the criticism is fair: the band did release some genuinely good albums in the '70s, a highlight being their first record. While it has rough-edges, it's still a surprisingly strong debut for a group who's often criticized for overusing theatrics. The songs have plenty of hooks, with the tracks "Black Diamond," "Strutter," "100,000 Years," "Nothin' to Lose," and "Cold Gin" being highlights. Members of the band have criticized the one cover on the album - "Kissin' Time" - but it's a fun listen, more-so than the band makes it out to be. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Peter Criss take turns handling lead vocals on the record, and all three do a fine job. Stanley and Criss sing with their share of enthusiasm, and Simmons vocals are nowhere near as hammy as they would become years later. Ace Frehley throws down his share of memorable lead guitar licks, with my personal favorite coming from "100,000 Years," although "Deuce" comes in second place. Even Simmons plays some memorable bass-lines, with my favorite being from "Strutter." Criss may not have been a technical drummer, but the man could still play his instrument.

The songwriting's not perfect, though. The bridge in "Cold Gin" sounds out-of-place to me, as well as the Led Zeppelin-like instrumental breakdown in "Let Me Know." The version of "Firehouse" from "Alive!" is energetic and commanding, but the original track here sounds a little stilted. The instrumental "Love Theme" is interesting to listen to - and shows the band could write stuff other than anthems - but it's nowhere near as good as, say, Ace Frehley's "Fractured Mirror" from his 1978 solo album. // 8

Lyrics: As good as the instrumental side is, I do wish the lyrics were better. Lyrically, the album just isn't that good. The lyrics to Ace Frehley's "Cold Gin" and most of Stanley's compositions are passable, but they don't look very good on paper. Simmons can come up with some catchy hooks, but here, his lyrics leave something to be desired. Now, I don't consider it necessary for a song to have great lyrics. If a song is catchy enough, I normally don't pay attention to the words until the second or third time I listen to it. However, it helps greatly if the lyrics are actually decent, and I can quote the song without feeling silly. (A lyric like "I'll be your lovin' man, you'll be my bundle of joy" doesn't look very good on paper, and doesn't sound much better when sung. I have heard worse lyrics, but I have heard better too). // 6

Overall Impression: I'm not sure if I can recommend the album for "essential" listening, but I enjoyed it just as well. Most of the songs are catchy, and have decent guitar riffs; some of Frehley's best solos come from "Deuce" and "100,000 Years." Stanley, Criss, and Simmons sing with enthusiasm. The songwriting slips in some places, and the lyrics leave something to be desired, but I like the album well enough. It's a very fun listen, enough so that I can forgive some of the problems the CD has. It's earned a spot on my shelf, and I'm not planning on selling it anytime soon. // 8

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