At last Psycho Circus has been released in the UK. I just thought I'd add my contribution to all the other reviews that have appeared over the net (Martin Curtis has another UK review at http://www.mjc.mcmail.com/psychorev.htm).
Firstly you can't help but notice the cover, it's one of those changing pictures like you used to find free in cereal boxes when you were a kid. Basically if you move the cd box slow enough you get to see the Psycho Circus curtains opening up, it's a pretty cool idea for a cd box - there's also a moving KISS logo under the cd itself. There's also a free screen saver on the cd (I'll annoy people at work with that one tomorrow!) and a specially recorded message by the boys themselves (you need a Win 95 machine though).
1. Psycho Circus By now I guess most people have heard
the title track, it's a brilliant start to the album. The song reminds me somewhat of Love
Gun (don't know why, it just does!), the solo is brilliant. This is the best rocker from
Paul in a long time.
2. Within Ok, over to Gene now. Apparently this one was originally written for Carnival Of Souls but it didn't make it. Some of the riffs at the beginning remind me of 'Thrills In The Night', don't let that put you off though! The chorus really rocks, it's the heaviest Gene song on the album. I don't know why so many people have been slagging this one off, it's excellent - I love it how Gene is singing along with himself in the chorus (don't know how he'll pull that one off live)!
3. I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock & Roll Another great song from Paul. This is a straight forward, kick ass KISS Army type song, kind of in the same vein as 'Flaming Youth'. Some of the riffs are incredible, I love this one!
4. Into The Void At last a new song from Ace and I have to admit I was a little disappointed by it at first. The guitar work and drumming are both really good especially the solo. After listening to it a couple of times it really grows on you, it's very rocky and wouldn't look out of place on Ace's solo album.
5. We Are One Gene sings this one but it's not like the usual Demon offerings that we've had in the last couple of albums, think of 'See You Tonight' and you'll be on the right lines. Probably the most commercial song on the album and very unusual for Gene, but this song is brilliant, without doubt my favourite! Let's hope Mercury decide to release this as a single, pleeeease!
6. You Wanted The Best Yes I did want the best, and from the title I thought I was going to get it.... but I didn't. This song features all four members singing different parts and seems to be based on the past relationships of the band and the reunion (with lyrics such as 'The fans wanted us to play, we hear and we obey'). The best part of the song is the solo, I just can't seem to get into the singing itself. And what's with Gene's Dick Van Dyke accent at the end??
7. Raise Your Glasses Another stonker from Paul, this one will kick ass live. After listening to it I recognised loads of different parts of the song but I couldn't remember where from. After thinking about it I reckon that they've lifted some of the guitar parts from 'It's My Life' which was recorded in the 80's but never released. Another favourite of mine, 'We're the champions'.
8. I Finally Found My Way Peters ballad (written by Paul) has been slagged off all over the place. Okay so it's no Beth or Hard Luck Woman, but it's not that bad. If you've ever heard Peter's solo album or 'Let Me Rock You' (which I managed to get on cd last week) then you'll know exactly what to expect. Give the Catman a chance, I like this!
9. Dreamin' Wayhay Bruce has made it on to the album after all, well sort of - he co-wrote this song with Paul, and pretty damn cool it is too. The verses of this song are really strong but I feel the chorus lets it down slightly
10. Journey Of 1,000 Years Gene's finale to a great album, yet again this isn't a typical Demon song but it emphasises the fact that Gene isn't only a God Of Thunder! The song features an acousic & orchestral backing which accompanies Gene superbly. And to finish off the album we go full circle and hear the Psycho Circus solo played by the orchestra, superb!
Overall this album is excellent, lots of surprises even if there are one or two disappointments. It's great to see that they didn't just try to re-record Destroyer, this album builds on both old and new material with bits of from the 70's right through to Carnival Of Souls (nice to see that not every KISS song is about shagging!). Personally I would have liked another 'Unholy' type song from Gene but that doesn't mean that I don't like what he has recorded, I love all of his songs. No doubt about it there's going to be a lot of new material played on the next tour. It's such a shame that we might not be getting any singles released over here, I just hope that Mercury do change their minds and release one when the next tour arrives (as has been rumoured).
Highlights: We Are One, Psycho Circus, Journey Of 1,000 Years, Raise Your Glasses.
Mercury UK have just announced the following news snippets:-
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