Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
December 20th, 2009 | 26 replies | 11,303 views


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Before being a good KISS album, this is a great hard rock album, regardless of who’s penning it. Plus, Gene Simmons isn’t even here to muck things up.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

They say KISS, but they aren’t. Not really. The four self-titled albums were, in fact, a bid to prevent KISS from breaking up, at a time where ego conflicts were as rampant as the group’s popularity. However, other than serving as a peace measure and an extra source of income, the “solo” albums ended up serving a more important purpose: to showcase what each member of KISS was individually capable of.

And while the other members’ offerings sprung a few surprises, singer, guitarist and main man Paul Stanley took a safe, honest route: all he wanted was to make a hard rock record, and make a hard rock record he did – no frills, no bids at innovation, just straight-out rock’n’roll, which most of the time comes across sounding like a more polished and better-played version of his day job.

In fact, one needs go no further than Love In Chains or It’s Alright to find similarities to KISS. Stanley’s vocal tone is almost synonimous with the band, and it’s only natural that it should call to mind the four masked man. However, one must also say that it’s a relief to actually hear good bass on Stanley’s compositions, for once. Guitar solos are also very good throughout, with some of them coming to you courtesy of Bruce Kulick, who would play a very important part in KISS’s career during the 80’s. However, the only major player featured on this album is drummer Carmine Appice, whose mammoth performance becomes the salvation beam that carries us through the seemingly endless, sleep-inducing Take Me Away (Together As One). The rest of the names were unknowns, basically session musicians recruited by Paul and his producers to ensure things went off without a hitch.

And go smoothly they did, with the final product being, as noted, polished and well-produced. Unlike with early KISS albums, there are no glaring mistakes or shortcomings, and even Stanley’s voice seems to have gained somewhat in overall technicality. The songs go by rather pleasantly as well, being mostly unassuming and unpretentious. The exception, of course, is Take Me Away (Together As One), and it’s no wonder it’s one of the weakest in the album.

The nine songs on offer use most of the KISS trappings, but in a more in-context manner. Move On and Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart) bring gospel vocals on the choruses, but they don’t seem as random or out-of-nowhere as they did on the early KISS efforts. Here and there, keyboards also spruce up certain songs, but nothing as exaggerated as Bob Ezrin had done on Destroyer. All in all, a simple and quite effective hard rock listen, whose highlights may be few, but where the weak points are equally scarce.

As far as highlights go, Ain’t Quite Right is an ellegant mid-tempo rife with the kind of countrified licks and ambiances that Aerosmith were making famous, and which would later be appropriated by Cinderella and Great White. It’s curious how much this song sounds like a Great White outtake, especially when we think that at this point, GW were still making fast, raw heavy metal. Further on, Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me asserts itself, literally from the very first note, as the best song on the album. The chorus is an absolute masterpiece, as is the riff, and overall this will soon become one of the songs you look forward to on every listen. The same could be said of It’s Alright, a sort of “baby brother” to Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me, with similar riffing and structure, and another rocking performance from Stanley, who belts out the lyrics with gusto. Together, these three songs set the album’s overall bar pretty high, and fortunately the remaining ones seldom disappoint.

In fact, tracks like Tonight You Belong to Me, Move On or even Hold Me, Touch Me… make for quite enjoyable listens, although the tip of album brings a couple of unremarkable songs in Love In Chains, a poor KISS outtake, and the structurally messy Goodbye. The only cringe-worthy moment is the aforementioned Take Me Away (Together As One), which tortures us with false endings and additional solos for an excruciating five and a half minutes. The only salvation, as also noted, is the absolutely commanding performance of Appice on the drums. Other than that, the album would have been better off without this song.

However, not even these few shortcomings can detract from what is essentially a good album. I’m going to go ahead and recommend Paul Stanley even to those of you who aren’t huge KISS fans. Because before being a good KISS album, this is a great hard rock album, regardless of who’s penning it. Plus, Gene Simmons isn’t even here to muck things up.

Recommended Tracks
Ain’t Quite Right
Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me
It’s Alright



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user ratings (97)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
LepreCon
December 20th 2009



3591 Comments


This is my favourite out of the four solo albums. I remember being hugely disappointed with Gene's, I was hoping it would be heavier than them all, but, well...
Good review Pedro

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2009



30873 Comments


I thought Ace's was the best personally. Another good review though dude

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Kronzo
December 20th 2009



991 Comments


Glad to see this getting reviewed

Kronzo
December 20th 2009



991 Comments


Sorry double post lol

Douchebag
December 20th 2009



3624 Comments


I don't want to sound stupid, but since it's his solo album who else plays on here? The other members of Kiss? Session musicians? or does he play everything?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2009



30873 Comments


Sessions I think

kygermo
December 20th 2009



994 Comments


Ace's was the best for me. This is good too but like you said, it was "safe". Ace was busting out shit he never would do in KISS. Its not ironic that Ace's and Paul's were the best solo records and that Ace and Paul are my favorite members. And your summary rocked.

KILL
December 20th 2009



70586 Comments


rock on!

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2009



30873 Comments


Kill lost the paint and found himself some weight it seems

KILL
December 21st 2009



70586 Comments


yea blame wendys

Nagrarok
December 21st 2009



8169 Comments


Your previous avatar was better, KILL.

Relinquished
December 21st 2009



24434 Comments


Deththrasher had that once.

KILL
December 21st 2009



70586 Comments


that was one of my many accounts

Relinquished
December 21st 2009



24434 Comments


no it wasn't

KILL
December 21st 2009



70586 Comments


agreed

Relinquished
December 21st 2009



24434 Comments


change into sumthing more kvlt pls

KILL
December 21st 2009



70586 Comments


bored of kvlt want heavyness

Relinquished
December 21st 2009



24434 Comments


like that poor kid

KILL
December 21st 2009



70586 Comments


exactly

KILL
December 21st 2009



70586 Comments


k there



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