Right now I’m listening to Kiss’ new album, Sonic Boom.
Kiss has been a guilty pleasure of mine ever since the Image comic book series of the late ‘90s. (I actually managed to avoid Kiss for my entire life up to that point, and believe me, that wasn’t easy in junior high school!) When the comic started, I sample some of their music for the first time and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t all crap.
Sonic Boom also comes with an additional greatest hits disc and a “Live in Buenos Aires” DVD. Kiss has almost as many greatest hits albums as they do studio albums, but what makes this one unusual is that all the songs are newly recorded (in the studio) by the current line-up. (I’ve long thought groups should do that.) Speaking of line-ups, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are back (as usual) and Peter Criss and Ace Frehley are out (as usual). Former fill-in drummer (from the period Kiss weren’t in make-up) Eric Singer is back, but he’s wearing Peter Criss’ “Cat Man” design. (In the past, alternate members during Kiss’ make-up wearing phases had been given unique designs.) New-to-Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer is wearing Ace Frehley’s “Star-Man” design. I guess only members of the “Kiss Army” (and me, I guess) would notice.
This album has taken me to Wal-Mart for the tird time in as many years. In addition to this one, REO and the Eagles’ most recent releases have been Wal-Mart exclusives. (The bands get more money distributing through Wal-Mart exclusively and eliminating the middleman I have heard.) If you’ve never heard Kiss before, this album is a good one to showcase where the band has come from and where it’s at now.
New-to-Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer is wearing Ace Frehley’s “Star-Man” design.
CORRECTION: Tommy Thayer also played lead guitar (and wore Ace's make-up) for the Kiss Symphony (with the Melboure Symphony Orchestra in Australia in 2003), which also happens to be what I'm listening to right now.
Kate Bush - The Kick Inside/Hounds of Love & others
Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen/Songs From a Room/I'm Your Man & others
Paul Bley - About Time
John McLaughlin - Extrapolation
Seun Kuti & Fela's Egypt 80
Steve Kuhn Trio with Joe Lovano - Mostly Coltrane