KISS
Lick It Up


1.5
very poor

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
January 12th, 2010 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If this is – as allmusic.com calls it – “undoubtedly KISS’s best non-makeup album”, I’m not sure I want to hear the rest of them.

Fun fact: in the KISS history I’m reading, which inspired me to do this discography and which goes to absurd detail, nearly every KISS album gets a semi-detailed description of the sound and a mention of some of the song titles. All, but this one. For Lick It Up, the only mention made is of the single and the overall sales figures, stating that it was an improvement over the last few albums, and that the removal of makeup, devised by Paul Stanley in late 1982, had worked to the band’s advantage.

Now, usually I’d find this strange, but with Lick It Up, it’s only natural; this album is as unremarkable as it gets. Other than the “look, no makeup!” gimmick, the compositions and overall sound of KISS’s 1983 opus are just as bland and unmemorable as anything the band put out during their desperation years.

In fact, KISS albums from the no-makeup phase followed a predictable and very simple pattern: they had a single, another couple of decent-to-good track, and the rest was filler. Lick It Up is no different. Here is your single (Lick It Up), here are your two not-terrible tracks (Dance All Over Your Face and And On The Eighth Day) and here’s the filler (pretty much everything else). I guess the instrumentation on Fits Like A Glove could be construed as bonus goodness, but it is immediately offset by the fact that the song has no chorus whatsoever. So in the end, the pattern is well and truly established for the next few recordings.

Other than debuting the “unmasked” KISS – pun intended - Lick It Up also marks the full-time debut of Vinnie Vincent as a KISS guitarist. Ace Frehley’s replacement, who had already contributed to the previous album, Creatures Of The Night, once again brings his murky riffs and slightly shredding solos to the mix, clashing a little with Eric Carr’s over-produced drums and Gene and Paul’s sugar-coated vocals. The result is akin to an 80’s hair-metal band with lighter-than-average rhythms, but heavier-than-average guitars. In a word, ill-fitting.

To give KISS some credit, though, they finally tried to stop jumping on bandwagons, at least sonically (visually, as the photos attest, it was another story). On this album, the band hits all bases, from the Mötörheadian riff of Gimme More to the straight-out metal of Fits Like a Glove, to the typical KISS sound on Exciter, through the sugary pop-metal of the rest of the album. However, they fail to do any of these genres consistently or retain any sort of permanent interest from the listener.

In fact, the songs on this album are so unmemorable, that I won’t even quote all their names. Those of you who read my reviews know that I usually touch upon every song on a release, especially when there aren’t that many of them. Not so here. Here, I will just convey the sense of boredom I got from the album by stating that I didn’t know what half the songs were called until I looked at my mp3 on the fourth or so listen. They’re that uninteresting[/i].

Still, not all is bad. As noted, the riff and solo on Fits Like a Glove are pretty wicked, although the song as a whole is poor. Similarly, Lick It Up works well as a single, being an overtly commercial, somewhat sugary song that flew predictably well during the spandex-and-hairspray MTV era. Other highlights include Dance All Over Your Face, an all-around fun boogie with a great chorus and nice drum work from Carr, and And On The Eighth Day, another fun throwaway track which suffers from a little too much sugar in the chorus, but manages to bounce back in style. Everything else is either horrid or – like Not For The Innocent and All Hell Is Breaking Loose with its awful spoken-word verses– starts off sounding like a standout, but loses steam with repeat listens.

Now prepare yourself for a shock: out of the three aforementioned good tracks, two are Gene Simmons compositions. Now, on previous albums, all the good songs were usually Paul Stanley’s (or, alternatively, Ace Frehley’s). To know that Gene, of all people, is writing the best stuff on this album is baffling. As for Stanley, the best he can conjure up is the halfway-decent single, but everything else ranges from insipid to outright bad.

That’s it. Not much more to say about this album. It’s boring, it’s bland, it’s bad, and if this is – as allmusic.com calls it – “undoubtedly KISS’s best non-makeup album”, I’m not sure I want to hear the rest of them.

Recommended Tracks
Lick It Up
Dance All Over Your Face
On The Eighth Day



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user ratings (161)
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other reviews of this album
santaale001 (4)
You want his album if you like a classic hard rock record. Its sound quality is great, but not to gr...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ire
January 12th 2010


41787 Comments


LICK IT UP
LICK IT UP
OHH AWWWWWWWWW OHHH

BigHans
January 12th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

DONT WANNA WAIT TILL YOU KNOW ME BETTER!

LepreCon
January 12th 2010


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree, this is pretty sucky, but there's still worse by them.

DiceMan
January 12th 2010


7068 Comments


Dislike this band to hell.

TRMshadow
January 12th 2010


4982 Comments


Good review, don't want to go anywhere near this now. pos.

EverythingEvil2113
January 12th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album. It's still got Creature's heavier sound left over and only hints at what's to come with their next few albums. You have Creatues at a 3.5 so I was predicting a similar score here, but alas I was wrong.

You explained yourself well but this and Revenge are my favorite of the no makeup era. God if this is a 1.5 I'm terrified to think of what you're gonna give Asylum or Crazy Nights lol.

Dreamsoffew
January 13th 2010


1002 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Crazy Nights was probably my favourite of the non makeup era. It was cheeseball, but hella fun.

shindip
January 13th 2010


3536 Comments


Such a bad band, even their best albums are pretty awful

ReturnToRock
January 13th 2010


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

EverythingEvil, i can tell you that Animalize is dawdling between a 1.0 and a 0.5 right now, and I'm seriously reconsidering my claim that "The Elder" is the worst thing ever done by KISS. Crazy Nights is probably a 1.5 as well, since it has one GREAT song and one okay song, and the rest is filler. This one has three okay songs, so I guess they're about on a par with each other.

As for Creatures...well, it may have had something this one didn't have...something like...let's see...HOOKS!?

Asiatic667
January 13th 2010


4648 Comments


Lordi is the new KISS

Spec
May 27th 2012


27179 Comments


Lick It Up is a good song though.

EverythingEvil2113
May 29th 2012


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lick it up (dun dun dun dun) Lick it up (dun dun dun dun), AHHHAHHHHAHH, IT'S ONLY RIGHT NOW!

lordofcyclones
November 2nd 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First, Rating a 1983 in 2010? Seriously ? LOL.... Your review sucks... Totally misleading... On The Eighth Day is your recommended track? LMAO and you didnot mention 'Million to one' ... You can kiss gene's arse... _|_


JohanSpoonman
March 26th 2013


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Follows the same pattern as Creatures, in a good sense for the band.
Not really a top album. Still there are some good heavy songs here.

Not for the innocent (underrated, never played live), And on the 8th day (same here)
Why the hell did they insist on playing a shit song like Gimme more, on the tour and not these?
Well, All hell´s breaking loose, guess you could consider being a groundbreaker with the mixture of kindalike rap and metal in the verses, in 1983. Must have been the only time Kiss breaking new ground, instead of following, within their music..

mark7477
October 16th 2013


393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would say this was one of their last decent albums during the 80's before they got real poppy once again LOL.Other than that All Hell's Breaking Loose is probably my fave on this one.

InbredJed
October 16th 2013


5917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gotta respect tha KISS, even if this album isn't their greatest.

Digging: JJ Cale - Okie

Green Baron
October 16th 2013


20000 Comments


KISS my ass

facupm
January 5th 2014


7785 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not that bad album, really

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

manosg
January 28th 2014


6139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Indeed not that bad. There are even moments when you can hear the bass actually playing something.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

facupm
January 28th 2014


7785 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah solid album i'd say



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