Part 23 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster!
KISS – Asylum (1985)
My bias with this album is simple: Asylum was the “new” Kiss album when I first started listening to the band. “Tears Are Falling” was getting a lot of airplay, and it was the latest thing. I still think, on a whole, it is superior to Animalize. The reason for this is all around stronger songs, with Bruce Kulick contributing heavily. Recall that when we last checked in with Kiss, Bruce Kulick was temping, filling in for the ailing Mark St. John. He was their fourth guitar player in as many albums.
By the time to record a new album, Bruce was a full member of Kiss. Gene was still off in la-la land trying to become a movie star, as he was cast as a transvestite in the John Stamos vehicle, Never Too Young To Die.
The good news is, Paul was steering the ship as best he could, considering he was effectively working without his partner in Kiss. Paul contributed some decent material with a bevy of cowriters including Kulick.
- King Of The Mountain (awesome)
- Tears Are Falling (awesome)
- Who Wants To Be Lonely (great)
- Radar For Love (decent)
- Uh! All Night (decent)
Gene’s good songs include:
- Trial By Fire (good)
- Secretly Cruel (great)
That only leaves three duds by my counting: Gene’s and Paul’s first co-write in years, “Love’s A Deadly Weapon”, Gene’s “Any Way You Slice It”, and Paul’s “I’m Alive”. “I’m Alive” is almost a carbon copy of other fast Paul songs such as “Gimme More”.
The cover art is bland, but it does have links to Kiss’ past such their traditional “aura” colours (purple for Paul, red for Gene, blue for the guitar play, and green for the drummer). Production is a little glossy on the drums (samples?), but there are no keyboards, or anything like what would happen later on Crazy Nights. It’s a little more pop than Animalize, but I think it’s just a better album. Just better songs.