Sound — 9
Producer Eddie Kramer said (as can be read in the book "KISS - Behind the Mask) that it was a challenge to find the right sound for each band member. Both the rhythm and lead guitars have two similar but distinct sounds. The bass has an ever so slight echo to it (Most noticably on Christine Sixteen and Almost Human) and the drums on this album have a very typical late 70's sound. All of these give most the tracks on the album a very full and wholesome sound. The lead guitar on most of these tracks has a slight fuzz (most audible on Shock Me and Love Gun) which is unlike most of the other Kiss albums of the 70's. The tone of the album carries on through the album, with very little variation if any. The song "Almost Human" is a relative depature for Kiss. It has elements of funk, including some slap bass at the beginning. While the "solo" in the middle does eventually give you a headache (it's pretty much just pure nonsensical noise) the rest of the song does carry on the same tone of the album.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically, the songs on the album are not fantastic, but catchy enough for them to stick in your head and carry the song. Paul Stanley excells vocally on this album, particuarly on the song Love Gun. Peter Criss' lone lead vocal on Hooligan is classic Peter, with an element of R&B and Soul. The song Christine Sixteen is about an older man being attraced to a sixteen year old girl. The subject of the song itself verges on paedophillia, but is delivered in classic Gene Simmons fashion. Ace finally comes out and does a good job with the lead vocals on Shock Me, writing decent lyrics typical of other Frehley-written songs. I give the lyrics and vocals on the album a 7 mainly due to the delivery of the lyrics. Paul really comes into his own here, and the choruses and last part of the song Love Gun really show what a talented vocallist he is.
Overall Impression — 9
Love Gun in my opinion is Kiss' best album, tied with Alive!, Rock and Roll Over and Destroyer (which disappoints on some songs, but the killer songs on that album are really WOW). The best song on the album is the title track, which when I first heard I had to kick myself so many times for not hearing it earlier on in my life (I was 14). That song is really shows what a collective force Kiss are, with great vocals, an amazing solo courtesy of Mr. Ace Frehley, relaxed but powerful drums and a killer bassline which was actually played by Paul Stanley, not Gene. It's such a great song that friends of mine who aren't fans of Kiss or even dislike them, like it That track is really the embodiment of all the best bits from the whole album. The controversial cover "Then She Kissed Me" is not as bad as people make it out, however it's one of those songs that when I listen to it, I only listen to portions, and then not listen to it for a couple of months. If it were stolen/lost, I would definately buy it again.