Posts Tagged ‘Peter Criss’

It’s been another solid year for new releases, hundreds of bands have released new albums in 2007 and it’s been very hard to keep up. I can’t buy everything and the money I put aside for my music fix has to be spent wisely. Unfortunately, I’ve had the misfortune of spending my hard earned cash on some really bad albums. So here is my list of the 5 Worst Albums of 2007:

#1

Manowar - Gods Of War

Manowar – Gods Of War

Absolutely the worst album I bought this year! I am a big Manowar fan and I have been since the early ’80s but this tests my loyalty. One look at the deluxe packaging and everything looked promising, the band really put a solid visual package together for the fans. I wasn’t big into translating the whole booklet but it gave me something to do while I listened. Unfortunately, the music was long and boring. Concept albums are hit or miss, for every OPERATION: MINDCRIME there are many subpar efforts. Even though the concept falls in line with the Manowar line of thinking, it’s hard to follow. How many orchestral passages does one album need? How many sound effects? Half the albums was instrumentals and narratives, for an album over an hour long, that’s a complete waste of time! The other half of the album was proper songs but even then they were too over the top and that’s saying something because everything Manowar does is over the top. Even the accompanying DVD (available on the limited edition) didn’t help.

#2

Vixen - Live & Learn Vixen – Live & Learn

What could you really expect from Vixen in 2007 anyway? Somehow, the nostalgia of my youth and the $9.99 price tag got the better of me and I bought this the day it came out. My big problem with this was that it just didn’t sound like Vixen. All the members are different except for guitarist Jan Kuehnemund and the mix is awful. Maybe if Janet Gardner was still on vocals then LIVE & LEARN could have escaped this list but the record would still need better production and better songs. Oh well, you live and you learn (pun intended)!

#3

Peter Criss - One For All (2007) Peter Criss – One For All

At least I knew going in that this wouldn’t be a Rock ‘n’ Roll album, that takes some of the pain away! This album was a must for me because I am a KISS diehard but I didn’t get value for my dollar. Overall, the music isn’t bad but the vocals are…..he’s not Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett no matter how hard he wants to be. Knowing this album would be mellow and light with no Rock, I knew what I was getting.

#4

Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (2007) Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain

This is not an Ozzy album. This is a Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society album. Don’t believe me? Spin this CD once and compare it to any BLS album…..you get the idea. It’s obvious that Ozzy is out of ideas and he needs as much help writing as he does from ProTools with his vocals. Obviously, Zakk Wylde is the driving force behind Ozzy’s music even though the writing credits say different. Ozzy’s vocals are enhanced by studio trickery more than ever and the overall packaging of the first pressing leaves a lot to be desired, even with the code for two free Ozzfest tickets. Ozzy had the opportunity to make a real kick ass record and he didn’t. As I wrote in the review: “…..it’s (the album) decent but it doesn’t blow me away. And I expect to be blown away by Ozzy.”

#5

Sebastian Bach - Angel Down (2007) Sebastian Bach – Angel Down

You wait 9 years and release this? I think the five songs on BRING’EM BACH ALIVE (1999) are much better than these songs and having Axl Rose as a guest star on three songs doesn’t make it any better. So why did I buy it? Simple…..hope. I had hope that Bach would make a good solo record, especially considering he had plenty of time to write good songs. I think my biggest disappointment here is the vocals, they are not good. Sebastian Bach has been considered to have one of the better voices from the ’80s and he just doesn’t show it. If the vocals were better, I would have kept it out of the Worst 5. I have yet to properly review this album but I’m definitely done listening to it.

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.