Paul Stanley has released his first solo album in 28 years. Does it live up to the hype? Read on.
If you are picking this up, and thinking you are going to get a new KISS sounding CD, you are wrong. I would say that Live to Win is closer to the Bon Jovi style of music than KISS.
This CD is laden with a bunch of pop metal tunes some of which are obviously better than others. The title track Live to Win is pretty decent, and is one of the better tracks on the CD. Lift sound more like a modern rock tune and isn’t too bad. Wake Up Screaming starts with that electronic drum beat thing going on, and for some reason, this song gets on my nerves. Stanley’s voice cracks in a couple of places here as well. Everytime I See Your Around slows it down, and is not a good song to follow up W.U.S. I usually have to skip those to songs.
Bulletproof picks up the pace a little bit. Its another decent Pop Metal effort. I could almost hear this one on a KISS album.
The lyrics for All About You makes me think about Happy Bunny. It is an ok song.
Second to None, slows it back down again, and it is a better song than I expected it to be. It’s Not Me is a mid tempo pop/rock and it is a pretty decent song.
Loving You Without You Now slows it back down again. I do not like this song at all. It grates on my nerves.
Where Angels Dare ends this disc with a pretty good rock number. If more guitars and bass were added to this song, this could also easily be a KISS song. Not a bad way to end this disc.
I have listened to this a few times, and I don’t love or hate this disc. I think the guitars and bass on some of these songs are pretty thin. Stanley’s voice is certainly the focal point of all of the songs here. Paul sounds great on most of the tracks, but I can hear his voice crack in a couple of places. Its a solid effort from Paul Stanley. This disc makes me wonder how good a new KISS CD with new material would sound today.
Rating:Out of 10
- Live to Win*
- Wake Up Screaming
- Everytime I See You Around
- All About You
- Second To None
- It’s Not Me
- Loving You Without You Now
- Where Angels Dare*
Let me start by saying that I hate reviewing CD’s like this. My expectations were quite high for this CD, and it was a let down. I decided to give it a couple of more listens before reviewing, and my opinion changed very little.
For those of you who didn’t watch, Rock Star Supernova is the project( I call it a project, because I just don’t get a band feel from this CD) of Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke. They did a talent search on CBS looking for a lead singer for this project. The end result was virtual unknown Lukas Rossi. The show was fun to watch, but this CD is not what I would consider a fun listen.
The collective talent of these three musicians is quite impressive, as are the bands they came from( Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns and Roses)
Rockstar Supernova sounds nothing like any of these, and to me that is a little disappointing. Strangely enough, the weakest point for me on this CD, are the vocals of Lukas Rossi. The man has great stage presence, but I question his voice. His vocals seem to get washed out by the music on a few tracks.
After listening to a few songs, I found myself saying, where is the “Rock”, I must be missing it. This is a little too poppy for my tastes.
I decided to crank this CD up in my car….maybe that would help. It did improve the sound a little bit. I heard a few things that I missed the first time around. Tommy Lee does sound great on the drums. A couple of songs are ok.
Leave the Lights On grew on me a little bit after a few listens. It’s All Love slows it down and Rossi’s vocals are a little better here. Headspin was a Lukas Rossi original that was sung on the TV show. It is one of the better tracks on the CD. The Dead Parade almost sounds like a left over song from the John Corabi era Motley Crue.
Bottom-line, some of the tracks, are certainly better than others. This is one of those CD’s that may take several listens before it grows on you. I can’t usually make it to the end before I want to listen to something else. I feel like I am being generous with my rating here.
Rating: out of 10
- It’s On
- Leave the Lights On
- Be Yourself(and 5 Other Cliches)
- It’s All Love
- Can’t Bring Myself To Light This Fuse
- Make No Mistake…This Is The Take
- Social Disgrace
- The Dead Parade
Slave to the System is one of the better CD’s released in 2006.
This group consists of Damon Johnson, and Roman Glick from Brother Cane, and Scott Rockenfeld and Kelly Gray of Queensryche.
I have always liked both bands, but I must admit that I haven’t been very fond of the Kelly Gray, Queensryche years.
After hearing this CD, I wonder how much Geoff Tate has been holding back Kelly, as he kicks ass on this CD. Damon Johnson and the rest of the guys are great as well. Some songs lean towards more album oriented radio friendly rock, others are a little harder. The slower tracks took two or three listens to digest, and have really grown on me. The CD does a good job of mixing the two up.
As a whole, this is a killer CD with no filler tracks. This is straight up hard rock all the way through. If you like either of the two bands, I mentioned above, you are going to like this. It may take you a couple of listens to get into this, but if you give this a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.
This CD is one of my top picks in 2006.
For more information on Slave to the System, check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Ruby Wednesday
- Slave to the System*
- Live this Life
- Cruze out of Control*
- Gone Today*
- Will You Be There
- Walk the Line
Slave to the System is:
Damon Johnson – Vocals and Guitar
Roman Glick – Bass
Kelly Gray – Guitar
Scott Rockenfeld – Drums
I find myself gravitating towards this CD more often lately, so I thought I would give my 2 cents on it.
Zakk Wylde’s voice used to annoy the crap out of me, and thanks to my mp3 player, I have grown to like it after a few spins.
Listening to Mafia, the Black Sabbath and Ozzy influences run rapid throughout the CD. Not only does Zakk approach his vocals in a similar method to Ozzy, sometimes his guitars seem to have that dark, Iommi/Black Sabbath approach.
Even when Zakk slows it down, he crafts some great songs. Mafia has quite a few stand out tracks! Fire It Up, Suicide Messiah, In this River (written for Zakk’s buddy Dimebag Darrell) are my personal favorites. There are quite a few decent tracks on Mafia worth spinning this disc for.
It may take a couple of listens to really get into this CD, but I believe this is one of the top Metal releases of 2005.
Rating:Out of 10
- Fire it Up*
- What’s in You
- Suicide Messiah*
- Forever Down*
- In This River*
- You Must Be Blind
- Death March
- Dr. Octavia
- Say What you Will
- Too Tough to Die
- Electric HellFire*
- Spread Your Wings
- Been A Long Time*
- Dirt On the Grave*
- I Never Dreamed
Black Label Society is:
James LoMenzo – Bass, Vocals
Craig Nunenmacher – Drums, Shaker
Zakk Wylde – Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Vocals
Occasionally, I will stumble across a CD that surprises me. Stone Sour’s Come What (ever) May is one of these.
For those of you that don’t know this, Stone Sour is a side project of Slipknot singer Corey Taylor & Jim Root.
This CD is somewhat of a departure from the Slipknot style of music. I have had trouble classifying this one, whether you want to call this Numetal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or whatever, there is certainly a mix of styles on here that will appeal to the masses.
The major difference over Slipknot, is the often clean vocals. Corey Taylor shows that he has a good singing voice. The songs are heavy. Some heavier than others. At first this reminded me of Linkin Park, but that is an unfair comparison. This might be a bit better than that.
There are some amazing songs on this CD, 2 of which, you would never expect to hear out of Slipknot’s front man.
Through Glass and Zzyzx Road are great songs, but sound more like corporate mainstream rock. Nonetheless, they are great.
The rest of the songs you will find heavy, crunchy tunes, many of which are laden with explicit lyrics.
If you like your music heavy, but listenable, you could do worse than Stone Sour. Check it out!!
Rating:Out of 10
- Come What(ever)May
- Hell & Consequences
- Made of Scars
- Your God
- Through Glass
- 1st Person
- Zzyzx Road
For some reason I missed this group’s release not once but twice. This CD was originally released in 1989 and then remastered by Spitfire records in 2001.
I stumbled on this one in the used bin at the local record store and decided to give it a spin.
This is a pretty good Southern Rock Record. Heavier than ZZTop or Skynyrd, but not by much. If you enjoy those groups you will probably like this.
I prefer the harder numbers on this CD, so the stand out tracks are Don’t Dog Me, Get off my Jollies, and Bent for Silver.
It is a relatively short listen, 11 tracks clocking in just a little over 37 minutes. This CD may not set everyones world on fire, but it is definitely a necessity for the Southern Rock fans out there!
- Don’t Dog Me
- Sorry’s all I got
- Waiting for the Potion
- Get off my Jollies
- Shiny Mama
- Bent for Silver
- Love Comes Loose
- Dig a Hole
- San Loco
Why hasn’t this CD been heard in the United States???
This is the best thing Slash has done since leaving Guns and Roses, and in some instances far superior to Velvet Revolver.
Singer Rod Jackson should have been a household name after this release. He sounds great on this CD.
Slash’s guitar work is simply awesome throughout most of the tracks. The stand out tracks are Been There Lately, Shine and Life’s Sweet Drug. Guns and Roses fans are going to love this!
- Been There Lately*
- Just Like Anything
- Mean Bone
- Back to the Moment
- Life’s Sweet Drug*
- Serial Killer
- The Truth
- Ain’t Life Grand
- Speed Parade
- The Alien
* Best Tracks