Thursday, November 6, 2014

KISS - Psycho Circus

Album cover: This particular sleeve is interesting as it is a hologram; where when you shift it sideways, a curtain image either opens or closes.  When closed, the curtain has a large KISS logo on it.  But when opened you see the side of a circus wagon, with the KISS members faces on it along with a large face of a clown.  [Unfortunately I can't represent that accurately here!] 

Overall album:  KISS has a varied fan base and many point to different records as being their best. But for me, this is the album that truly encapsulates their sound with a number of twists in turns in the music and instrumentation.  Plus, Psycho Circus has 10 songs that are more like 10 individual hits. In short no fillers here at all. 

Songs: 

Psycho Circus: It begins with a distorted circus tune and explodes into a heavy track that is truly memorable.  The whole song has a dark menacing vibe to it but is able to balance all the elements really well.  

Within: A menacing track with a very loud and distorted riff, which has Gene singing in a deep and brooding voice. 

I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock & Roll: A very catchy tune with a big chorus.  A very typical KISS rock anthem that has a strong feel good vibe to it. 

Into The Void: Perhaps the most quirky song on the album, Ace does some great work on his solos and vocals on this track. 

We Are One:  The first things that come to mind, when you hear this, is friendship.  This is a very powerful ballad type of song that has a ton of energy and charisma infused in it. 

You Wanted The Best: A bold and very strong track. This is the only song on the album that has all four KISS members singing on it.  More so, it feels more like a statement is being made by the band about themselves and the lives shows they perform in. 

Raise Your Glasses: A feel good song that is very neat and follows a simple structure. Another rock anthem or sorts.

I Finally Found My Way: The full blown ballad track that has Peter Criss handling vocals duties for it.  It reminds the listener of his famous song Beth from the album Destroyer. While this is a good song, there are few elements like the trumpet that don't quite gel here. However, that being said, it is still a great ballad by the band. 

Dreamin: Wow! Paul really goes over the top with this one and the solo he let's fly in the middle is legendary.  This song feels so deep, almost like you've stepped into a river and are getting pulled suddenly by the undertow.  

Journey Of 1,000 Years: This is an epic musical piece and Gene really demonstrates his musical chops here.  The added orchestra and string arrangements make the listener feel that they are being transported to an undisclosed destination. 

Ultimate Album Song: Psycho Circus 

The Band: Paul Stanley (Vocals/ Guitar), Peter Criss (Vocals/ Drums), Ace Frehley (Vocals/ Guitars), Gene Simmons (Vocals/ Bass)   
Image source: images.sodahead.com

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