Peter Criss
Peter Criss


4.0
excellent

Review

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


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sometimes, the best surprises come from where you expect nothing at all.

When guitarist Ace Frehley suggested a momentary split for the production of solo albums, the idea was welcomed with different degrees of excitement. For two of the members – the founders and arguably the two most important ones – it was just a cute little diversion, a side project that would simultaneously help relieve the tensions boiling within the group. For the remaining two members, however, it was far more important than that. Frehley himself wanted to finally break out of his shell as a composer, which he did, extensively, on his album; but perhaps the member most overjoyed by this idea was drummer Peter Criss. Criss had always felt like his input wasn’t important to Stanley and Simmons – which it wasn’t – and that the duo kept giving him their weaker material to sing – which they did, with a few exceptions. In a way, Criss was in a situation similar to the one Ringo had experienced in The Beatles, a group which Gene Simmons tried desperately to equate his own to.

That’s why the solo album was so important to Criss: he could finally make himself heard, as well as nab some decent material to present to the public at large. Most importantly, he could finally showcase his own compositions, something which was impossible within the context of KISS. Therefore, it is surprising that the final result comes out sounding so close to his mother band.

In fact, this compilation of reworked tracks from Criss’ former bands, Lips and Chelsea, comes out sounding like a KISS album, if Gene Simmons didn’t tamper with it at all. Meaning, of course, that it captures all the good parts of the KISS sound. Tracks like Hooked On Rock’n’Roll, I’m Gonna Love You or Tossin’ and Turnin’ are the kind of irresistible boogies that all makeup-era KISS albums have at least two of. Slower tracks like Can’t Stop The Rain, on the other hand, call to mind Criss’ initial claim to fame, Beth.

The album starts off with three strong, lively tracks, the culmination point of which is reached on Tossin’ and Turnin’. A huge dip comes with the minimalistically boring Don’t You Let Me Down, but fortunately the album manages to recover with arguably its finest moment, That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes. As the title itself indicates, this is a good old-fashioned slab of the blues, enhanced by the possibilities offered by electrified instruments, and featuring a rippin’ solo by Toto’s Steve Lukather. The result is nothing less than stellar, being better than most songs found on actual KISS records and comfortably matching anything Paul Stanley has to offer.

However, this is where Peter Criss’s problems start. After That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes, the album takes on a lively track/slow track motif which severely diminishes its overall interest. That’s because, where Paul Stanley had two boring slow tracks, Peter Criss has four. Well, to be honest, closer Can’t Stop The Rain actually works, if only because it’s one of those glorious cheesefests 80’s rock producers loved to write for their stars – and in this case, it’s no different, with the track being penned by Sean Delaney. However, the other three tracks are quite boring, sometimes seeming almost too slow – see Kiss The Girl Goodbye, a weak re-tread of Beth, for the prime example. Overall, this excess in uninspired slow tempos somewhat detracts from the effect the boogies had managed to create.

However, all things considered, this is still a very strong album. Whatever small flaws it does have are forgiven as you dance around to Hooked On Rock’n’Roll – a somewhat auto-biographical and absolutely boogierific track – That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes, I’m Gonna Love You or even the overtly, unabashedly commercial You Matter To Me, where nary a single electric guitar is heard and great prominence is given to the keyboards, as well as to a strong bassline. These tracks defy you to remain seated, and you will often give in to their will and just let go, if only for a few seconds. Unfortunately, the mood-breaking ballads keep this from having an even higher rating – and, thereby, ranking as the best of the bunch – but Peter Criss is still the only other solo album that can match the brilliance of Paul Stanley. And that, itself, is no small feat. Sometimes, the best surprises come from where you expect nothing at all.

Recommended Tracks
That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes
Hooked On Rock’n’Roll
Can’t Stop The Rain



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user ratings (98)
Chart.
2.1
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
December 26th 2009


3536 Comments


4 vs a 1.8 hm...

ReturnToRock
December 26th 2009


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah well, I *really* like it

Greggers
December 26th 2009


2375 Comments


A brave review, but a well-written one, pos'd.

LepreCon
December 26th 2009


4147 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol but yeah, good review, and its not the worst of the solo albums like the ratings suggest, but I'm not overly fond of this one anyway. Still some good songs here though

Ire
December 26th 2009


41805 Comments


this album is queef

Rhino
December 26th 2009


71 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Wow, a 4? Well-written review, definitely, so can't argue with a personal preference. I have it a generous 1.5. This album (for me) is the worst thing Kiss, or a member of Kiss, ever released.

LepreCon
December 26th 2009


4147 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

^ Erm, no, Kiss have put out some really really fucking 0.5 worthy shit

Ire
December 26th 2009


41805 Comments


^yes : p

PuerkitoBio
December 26th 2009


60 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I only agree that Paul made the best "solo" album of the four. Other than that, this is not a very good album (but an interesting review). In fact, Kiss made maybe five good albums. Maybe. And neither Peter Criss nor Sonic Boom is one of those.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2009


31398 Comments


Wasn't expecting this rating haha. Good review as usual, prefer Ace's album myself.

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

ReturnToRock
December 27th 2009


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pray tell, fellows, why is this album so unworthy, in your opinions? i really can't fathom it. I mean, if you were talking about "Gene Simmons", then yeah, that might be "the worst thing KISS or a member of KISS ever released". but this? why? worse than "Dynasty" and "Crazy Crazy Nights"? WHY!?

PuerkitoBio
December 27th 2009


60 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

worse than "Dynasty" and "Crazy Crazy Nights"?

Yes, and yes. Why? Because "I Can't Stop The Rain", because "Kiss the girl goodbye", because "You matter to me", because "Don't you let me down", well because 3/4 of the album suck. This is no-balls rock'n'roll mixed with mellow, Rod-Stewart-when-Rod-Stewart-sucked kind of ballads.

ReturnToRock
December 28th 2009


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well, Crazy Nights has exactly ONE worthwile song (hint: it's "Crazy Crazy Nights"), plus one not-bad one (that one about the hunter in the night, or whatever). Dynasty has two good songs, two okay ones and two god-awful ones.

PuerkitoBio
December 28th 2009


60 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Crazy Nights IS bad. Dynasty, not so much. But Criss is worse, that's all I'm saying. Boring to death, no intensity, no vibe, it's empty, forgettable (thank god, actually). Kiss peaked at Hotter Than Hell, which says a lot... They showed some glimpse of greatness after that (Creatures, Destroyer, Love Gun), but their albums are pretty much always 2 "hits" with fillers.

elry2k
April 19th 2012


122 Comments


I didn't rate this album as poor, as the overall rating is. All of of solo albums have the same production sound, IMO. It's only the musical content that differentiates one album from the next. While I think all the solo albums are good, if the general consensus is that Simmons album is average, I can't say that this album is any worse than average. It's certainly not poor. It's good at best. And I'm listening to Dynasty right now and enjoying it so far.

elry2k
April 19th 2012


122 Comments


I'm just curious too. How were people ever offended by this band? How did KISS ever come to stand for Knights in Satan's Service? These guys sound about as classic rock as it gets. If these guys were so controversial shouldn't Sabbath's rep back in the day have been far worse? I mean if I had only listened to a little of Sabbath and a little of Kiss I would surely be more likely to think Sabbath were a bunch of devil worshipers, and not Kiss. Kiss seems the easier listen.

Spec
May 27th 2012


27201 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

That's the kinda sugar papa likes.

lopanchein
December 28th 2012


19 Comments


anybody who would rate this LP a 4 needs their head examined!!!!!!!!

facupm
December 28th 2012


8160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

well I can't stop the rain is a good ballad

Digging: Dissect - Swallow Swouming Mass

mark7477
October 15th 2013


394 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I respect the idea of Peter just like Gene doing something different from Kiss.Unfortunately the songs are very mediocre and at times just flat out weak in my opinion.



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