Friday, November 5, 2021

Paul Stanley's Soul Station "Now and Then"

( Overall, this record is fine. I imagine that one of the bummer things about being in KISS (or in many of the heritage acts with huge catalogues of long standing fan favorites) is that you are a musician and you don't get to make records; this is Stanley's first release in almost a decade, since KISS' last album, and this is just the 4th studio album Paul has been on this Century. That said, an album of mostly covers of prominent Philly Soul and Motown classics played by a band so slick and talented that it sounds incredibly close to the original recordings, and sung in a respectful, non-outrageous, competent falsetto is kinda karaoke-ish. Stanley's voice has proven itself over the last 50 years to be very distinct and it is mainly because of imperfections. There's a kind of flatness that seems regional to Long Island, over the top rock n roll phrasing that adds superfluous syllables, and especially as he has aged, an instinct to muscle towards notes even if they aren't pretty all the way through. You don't get a much of any of that here. There is no point where this seems like bad karaoke, it's fine, but more bad might make it bettter, and a bolder or more innovative or looser approach to the instrumentation could have been cool. There are some originals here, but nothing as exciting as Stanley's best songwriting in the past, I really can't remember anything specific, and I just listened to it. But again, this is fine, if your rock n roll job does not let you make records, you get in where you fit in, so I'm happy he made this, but I wish it was a little better or way worse so I would feel compelled to listen to it again.

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