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Kissably Soft

  • Feb 2, 2004
Rating:
+3
Way back in 1989, KISS was capping off the decade riding a wave of very successful albums (albeit not as endearing to loyal KISS fans as the albums of the makeup era).  Hot In The Shade ended the decade with a mix of excellent tracks and a few loud duds. 

Hide Your Heart is quite possibly the best track on the entire album.  It's a solid rocker that lacks the anthemic quality of most of KISS' biggest songs, but makes up for it with one of the best choruses ever penned by the band.

Prisoner Of Love, Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell, and Boomerang are the other standout tracks on this album.  All of them are excellent rock tunes that hold up to the harder edge that KISS leaned towards during the 1980's.

Of course, this album is best known for the massive power ballad (and one of KISS' biggest hits of all time), Forever.  The song was written by Paul Stanley and Michael Bolton.  Bolton had previously worked with then-KISS guitarist, Bruce Kulick.  It nearly matches the KISS classic Beth in popularity as far as KISS ballads go.

No KISS album is quite complete without a dirty song or two, and Read My Body stands out from the pack as one of the cheesiest yet fun dirty tunes off of this album.  Hearing Paul Stanley tell his listeners to "turn the page, get to the good stuff" and asking, "Are the letters big enough?" will have just about anyone laughing to the track. 

Also of note is Little Caesar, a track co-written by drummer Eric Carr and the only original song by the band to feature Carr on lead vocals.  He recorded vocals for Beth on the Smashes, Thrashes, And Hits album as well, but as most people know, that song belongs to the original KISS drummer, Peter Criss.

Unfortunately for the band, the rest of the album is pretty much a lot of filler.  Whether or not by coincidence, Hot In The Shade features fifteen tracks in total and is the fifteenth studio album by the band.  This makes it the longest studio album in KISS' history.  If the only reason for putting fifteen tracks on the album was to match the fact that it was the fifteenth release by the band, it caused the entire album to suffer.  While KISS is known for excess, in this case, too much amounted to a dull overall album.

In closing, all I have to say is that if you are a KISS completionist, get this album.  It hasn't been remastered yet, but I'm hoping that the band will do so in the near future.  If you're looking strictly for the "must have" songs, seek out Forever on one of the band's greatest hits compilations or purchase it outright as a single on the web.

Overall, a decent KISS album that's pulled down by an excess of filler tunes.
Kissably Soft Kissably Soft

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November 10, 2010
Wait...Michael Bolton wrote a song for KISS?!?!? Wowww....I never knew that! Thanks for continuing my education of KISS!
November 10, 2010
Yep, Bolton's rep has taken quite a beating over the years but I have to admit that he knows how to write a good ballad. And you're very welcome for the education. I guess I'm going to have to gain some hip-hop knowledge from you!
November 10, 2010
He does, indeed. I'm good on most genres but, 80s glam rock or heavy metal! So feel free to ask away :)
 
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Kendall Fontenot ()
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Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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2005 Japanese pressing of 1989 original release, comes packaged in a standard jewel case. Mercury.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Label: Island, Mercury
Artist: KISS
Release Date: October 3, 1989

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