easy listening

REVIEW: Peter Criss – One For All (2007)

PETER CRISS – One For All (2007 Silvercat Records)

I decided to be lazy tonight, and write an easy review on a shitty album.  It’s easier to tear something down than to build it up.  I dove into my Peter Criss folder, and grinned as I selected his 2007 post-Kiss reunion solo album, One For All.  Peter re-teamed with his Criss bandmates, Mark Montague and Mike McLaughlin.  He also called in some favors from the Letterman Show’s Will Lee and Paul Shaffer.

PETER CRISS_0001And then everyone took a giant shit, recorded it, and they called it an album.  A long, drawn out and painfully slow and tuneless album.  One For All consists entirely of slow, slow numbers.  Call ’em ballads, call ’em whatever you want.  It’s 100% schlock, 0% rock.  Peter: I am telling you right now man, and I’m sorry to have to be the one to say this, but your voice is gone.  It’s done.  It’s not pleasant to listen to anymore, especially when you try to reach notes so far out of your range that you’re whispering.  Note accuracy is also a problem.  It seems to be that if Peter didn’t hit the notes, but was in the general vicinity of them, that was a take.  I am guessing at the quality control standards; I wasn’t there in the studio with Peter, who self-produced this bad boy.  Not a good idea there, Pete m’boy.

The best tune is the title track and opener, “One for All”, on which Peter is backed by the mighty All Boys Choir from the Church of Transfiguration.  Their voices (which unfortunately don’t come in until close to the end) save this song and make it something a little more special.  It makes you wish they were singing on more of the album!  Also, any time backup singer Jen Johnson is audible, then everything’s fine.

Worst tunes: A tie between “Send in the Clowns” (yes, that “Send in the Clowns”) and “Space Ace”.  I’m not going to insult your intelligence and tell you what “Space Ace” is about.  Now that Peter has written songs about himself (“The Cat” from his EP) and Ace, I’m waiting for him to come up with “Star Child” and “The Demon”.  Milk it Peter, for all its worth.  May as well, since everybody else is too.

Quality control beef from the lyric sheet: the song “Doesn’t Get Better Than This”.

Remember George, and his guitar,
John and Paul, and Ringo Star.

Seriously, they spelled Ringo Starr’s name wrong in a song about the Beatles!

Sorry Peter.  This album gets the dreaded LeBrain Shit-Bomb.

0.5/5 stars

ONE FOR ALL_0002

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Part 288: The Lady In Red?

RECORD STORE TALES Part 288: The Lady In Red?

In mid-1996, I was minding the store one sunny morning. It was a pleasant summer day. A quiet morning, I was at the counter inputting new stock. As I slaved over a hot keyboard, entering CD after CD into inventory, I saw an old lady in a slinky red dress enter the store. As was our custom, I said hello as she entered. She didn’t respond and I went back to entering CDs as she looked around the easy listening section of the store.

That is when I noticed something terribly wrong with the lady in red.

LADY IN REDMy boss noticed it too, as he emerged from his office in the back. She barely had any hair on her head. We both came to the realization at the same time: the lady in red was a man!

An old, skinny, bald man in a red dress!

My boss and I exchanged glances. We looked back at the man, just to make sure our eyes were not deceiving us. No; that was most definitely a man in that red dress, casually browsing the easy listening section. Perhaps he was looking for some old Chris de Burgh?

My boss said to me, “Mike, can you go over there and see if he needs help finding anything?”

“Absolutely not!” I responded. “You can ask him if you want.”

“No that’s OK!” he chuckled. We watched as the man spent 10 or 20 minutes browsing, the only customer in the whole store. Then without a word, but with a flourish of his red dress, he left. I never saw him again.

I wonder if I would have made a customer if I had approached the man in red for help? Too bad I didn’t have a copy of The Very Best of Chris de Burgh. I could have popped in his theme song and made a sale!