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This not the Catman, its Peter Criss
on July 24, 2011
In 1978 rock group KISS then at the top of their popularity did something that surprised many. The band members each released their own studio album on the exact same day which has never been done since or before. Each member did their own musical thing as they wished. The record company, Cassablanca, released the albums each with the KISS logo on the top left corner and the albums were named quite simply after each individual member: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, each member with a different color (Red, purple, blue and green respectively). Out of the four solo output this was the album that deceived KISS fans the most. Fans expected something that would rock a little more I believe but they were in for quite a surprise with Peter Criss' solo debut. Criss sang on some excellent KISS songs like 'Black Diamond' and 'Strange Ways' and I always thought he had a certain quality to his voice that made him different and stand out, his singing on KISS album was nothing short of great. The fact that Peter's album is so different shouldn't be so surprising because after all this shows his well known Jazz/R&B influences from artists he loved in the 50's and 60's which is kinda what the album sounds like. Criss is also a little older than the rest of KISS so his influences were a little different. A good portion of the material comes was written before from Criss' pre-KISS bands like Lips.
Peter show right from the first track 'I'm Gonna Love You' with its boogie/blues guitars and the colorful piano that his album is going to be very different from what he played with KISS. 'Tossin' and Turnin'' is a good song with some doo-woop back vocals and fun lyrics. 'Don't You Let Down' sees Peter doing his own musical thing, this one sounds very Soul and Jazz inspired, it's a highlight of the album. 'That's The Kind of Sugar Papa Likes' is a good, happy upbeat song that's silly but fun at the same time, I like this song very much its one of the most Rock oriented songs here. 'Kiss The Girl Goodbye' is the 'Beth' of this album. It's not 'Beth' exactly but it's a touching slow ballad that's in the vein of that song, it's a great ballad that I feel is underrated. There are times when Peter Criss' album works and shows his different side. I always like to put out this album and try to get people to guess the artist, which of course they never, ever get right (unless they're hardcore KISS fans).
This is very much for the completists only, the average KISS fan may find 2-3 songs they like but it's likely that they won't much out of the album unless they like 50's and 60's R&B music. I can appreciate an artist doing something different and displaying some of his influences but even for me Peter Criss proves to be a little too much. I respect Peter's decision of making an album unlike KISS and one where he can be himself and be more creative and express himself but this is simply not my cup of tea. This is the solo album that puzzled a lot of fans and I can see why. Out of each member's solo record this is the one I play the least, although every once in while I take it out for a spin, it's not as bad as everyone says its just different. If you're a fan of mostly 50's and 60's music and less KISS then maybe this could hold appeal to you, otherwise it'll only complete your collection. I respect Peter's musical direction here and I like a few songs myself but I guess I'm just not a big fan of The Catman in solo. For me this is 2/5 stars.