Archive for August 5, 2007

Peter Criss - One For All (2007)

Peter Criss – One For All (2007, Silvercat Records)

  1. One For All
  2. Doesn’t Get Better Than This
  3. Last Night
  4. What A Difference A Day Makes
  5. Hope
  6. Faces In The Crowd
  7. Send In The Clowns
  8. Falling All Over Again
  9. Whisper
  10. Heart Behind These Hands
  11. Memories
  12. Space Ace

Musicians:
Peter Criss, Mike McLaughlin, Paul Shaffer, Will Lee, Mark Montague, Clifford Carter

Backup Singers:
Jennifer Johnson, All Boys Choir from the Church of Transfiguration

Producer:
Peter Criss

Total Time – 50:40

Peter Criss official website

Peter Criss has made it well known that his influences range far and wide, from Big Band, Swing, Doo-Wop, Jazz, Rockabilly, and Motown, to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Peter has always told fans and press that his biggest influences came from the likes of Gene Krupa, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett et al. That said, Peter Criss has created an album that touches on all of his influences and styles. If you are looking for a pure Rock album, this isn’t it. It’s mellow, light, more akin to what Peter enjoys rather than what he is well known for.

ONE FOR ALL is inspired by the tragedy in New York City on 9/11/01 (check out the album cover) but it is also an autobiographical piece. Peter puts his heart and soul into the album. The lyrics are insightful and reflective and the music is exceptional. Peter surrounded himself with some of the most professional musicians in the business and it shows in the music, excellent sounds from the piano to the guitar to the drums.

The only problem I have is Peter’s vocals. While Peter has a good raspy Rock voice, his current crooning approach sometimes doesn’t fit the music appropriately. You can also easily pick out the parts where Peter is totally out of tune and/or adds a little extra styling that just doesn’t gel (see ‘Faces In The Crowd’). The effort is certainly there, the heart is definitely in the right place, the ability or quality isn’t in certain songs.

The package is very good. The album artwork was designed by Peter, as was the inner and back photos. I get the “one for all” concept with the Earth and the international flags as a border. What i didn’t notice until I bought the album was the two”L’s” in ALL are the Twin Towers. I’ve had the artwork posted on this site for awhile and I just noticed this! I get the tribute to the victims of 9/11 but what’s with the airplane? Of course, there is the all important autograph that came on the limited edition. I was expecting one of those stamped signatures but this was actually done with a black Sharpie inside the booklet. There is also a gold sticker on the jewel case that reads: “Limited Edition. Individually Hand Signed By The Legendary PETER CRISS.” The booklet also has the full lyrics.

Bottom Line:
I was going to go song by song with this review but I’d really be saying the same thing on all the songs: excellent music, spotty vocals, and the style is more Sinatra than KISS. The style is not what a KISS fan is used to. If you’re looking for KISS, Hard Rock, or even Peter’s solo album from 1978, then you are going to be disappointed. If you are adventurous and can accept the total turnaround in style then you may enjoy this. For me, there’s not enough Rock, it’s too light. Best song on the album: ‘Doesn’t Get Better Than This’. Definitely Peter’s best vocal on the record and his counterpart in Jennifer Johnson is superb. Overall, a good solid effort at doing something he loves. Peter Criss has created an album that comes from the heart and is inspired by all of his influences. It’s definitely not a Rock album but it was never supposed to be in the first place. Of all the latest solo output from the original KISS members, I would rank ONE FOR ALL behind Paul Stanley’s LIVE TO WIN from 2006, and way above Gene Simmons’ ASSHOLE (2004). This album is for Peter Criss diehards, and KISS completists, only.