frontier(s) wrote:RippingFleshFromBone wrote:I was purely referring to the songwriting, not making any other comment on anything else in the KISS camp. On the whole I like MONSTER, but there's something missing and I haven't been able to suss out what it is.
I think you're right, and it's something I feel about the album also.
Monster is a solid effort, in many ways I prefer it to Sonic Boom and I don't really think it would be fair, at this stage, to expect much more from the band. However, and this is kind of the point, why does it just have to be the band? Kiss have used external songwriters extensively since Destroyer, and often/usually to very good effect. If we want to get really pedantic, even 2 out of 3 of the Originals featured one co-written track. And then there's the remarkable use of Vinne Vincent for Revenge, a decade after the guy was booted out of the band. Why? Because I think Kiss are smart enough to know that the end justifies the means.
Is Monster a decent album? Yes. Could it have been better with outside input? Yes, I very much suspect it could.
For me, the biggest drawback to the album is the lack of big choruses and mega-hooks. I can live with the hackneyed lyrics, but where's the melody and catchiness that I can't get out of my head? There are hired gun songwriters that specialise in helping bands add that to songs (Kiss have used several of them before) and I can't help but think the album could have been stronger with that input.
Mind you, if you listen to Right Here, Right Now (one writer) it's clear they still can deliver the mid-70s swagger and catchiness on their own. It really should have been part of the main album.
I completely agree with all that. I've given it another couple of listens and although it's great we've got a new KISS album, I am a little disappointed for the same reasons you say. But 'Shout Mercy' is very catchy to my ears and the backing vocals really add to that and Gene's bass and vocals throughout are really good. One of my problems with KISS these days is that they think they know everything that their fans want i.e. staid set-lists, KISS with no external influences etc. One of the joys of being a KISS fan is that you have so many periods of the band to listen to and even if they were just trying to be 'on trend' with things like IWMFLY or CoS, I've always enjoyed the results. So actually, I would have quite liked a Paul ballad - Forever is one of my fave tracks.
Having said all that, If it's the last album, well it's not a bad one to go out on and you're never going to please everybody. Hopefully it will keep growing on me and over time I'll appreciate it more.