Tuesday, February 08, 2005

They Just Aren't That Good

Amazon.com: Music: Viva! La Woman

Ever the music geek, I just heard KISS' Alive! and felt compelled to write an Amazon review. The review is below. If you want to get a record I can't get enough of, click the above link.

"They just aren't that good"

There were many great bands from the 70s. I've tried too many times to include KISS on that list, but they just don't cut it. Alive! supposedly showcases some of their best early work in a live setting. Beneath the shiny surface (if you call the roar of the crowd a shiny surface) lies a whole lotta hamfisted guitar work, uninventive drumming, shoddy vocals, juvenile lyrics, and cheesy between-song banter. I wasn't looking for another Led Zeppelin; a good party band would have sufficed. And while I'm sure they put on an impressive-looking show back then, their handful of half-catchy riffs (the rest are forgettable) can't swing it. It's also known that the band went into the studio to touch up the live recordings. This makes the final result even more disappointing. I can see thirteen-year-old boys going bonkers for this stuff (as a tangent, it seems like one of those boys wrote the wankish liner notes), but if you hear the band for the first time as an adult--like me--you're probably wondering what the fuss was all about.

The KISS Army is large, so maybe there's something I'm missing. Still, I have one very valid complaint: $22? This recording is about thirty years old now. Don't be fooled by the "double album" designation, either: the music can fit easily on one CD and the band is gouging you. Heck, how many 80+ minute, double CDs coming out today cost that much?

To conclude, if you think the "Yeah, yeah, yeah" parts in rock songs prove a songwriter's talent, or you really miss junior high, this album might be for you.

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