Paul Stanley - Live To Win (New Door Records/Universal Musical Enterprises) - Back
I would like to state before you read my review that I have been a kiss fan since I was fifteen months old. I have kiss tattooed on my back and am a proud member of the Kiss army, even though at times it's obvious that they don't care about us the fans and do it all for the money. Anyways in saying that I have waited years to hear Paul Stanley record his second solo album. For the last twelve years Kiss fans like myself have screamed our lungs out for new material, what did we get? We got Gene Simmons - Asshole and let's face it that certainly wasn't any good and fell short of anything is Kiss' back catalogue. Then the news was announced that Paul would finally release his new solo album. Something we all knew would one day finally see the light. Fans around the world have anticipated that this would be the album Kiss had forgotten to record. Let's just say I'm far from convinced. No doubt you will all make up your own minds when the album is officially released but below is my track by track reviews of Paul Stanley's - Live To Win.

“Live To Win” - I loved the first seventeen seconds of this song then my mouth dropped and I screamed the words "what the fuck is this"? I absolutely hate this song. I know there is no way I will grow to love this, as a true Kiss fan and massive Paul Stanley fan I am really disappointed with this opening song. The chorus lyrics were really corny and reminded me of the one hit wonders bands of the eighties. I hate this song with a passion. Kiss have always given us great openers 'The Oath', 'Unholy', 'Rise To It', 'Got To Choose' but this is one opener that I'm sure other Kiss fans will be disappointed with too.

“Lift” - This song has a great rockin’ intro, I really enjoy it. Paul sounds fantastic in this track. Unlike the first song this is not dated. This is very current and right up there with rock bands we are hearing on the radio today. No doubt this song will be a commercial success if it's released. This song is more what I expected from Paul Stanley. Lyrics are really good I loved the music immensely. This is my favorite song on the album.

“Wake Up Screaming” - This is another song that sounds very current, but to be honest I would expect this from Bon Jovi not Paul Stanley. The more I hear this song the more I think of the 2005-6 version of Bon jovi, weak and repetitive. I was very disappointed with Paul's vocal ability. Through the years I have always known Stanley to deliver on each and every note but vocally it lacked in my opinion. Not a fan of this one.

“Everytime I See You Around” - This is the song that every teenage boy will be playing in their bedroom. The bridge and melodies are really catchy and I enjoyed the solo and that classic Stanley vocal that shines in this track. You won't help but start humming along to the melody. It's not a bad song for what it is but this is from the guy who gave us Forever, Reason To Live and Everytime I Look At You I really think he could have done it better. Even so this has radio hit all over it.

“Bulletproof” - The first opening riffs of the song immediately had me thinking of 'Hide Your Heart', but then it took a left turn and drove off a cliff. I was really thrown off by the background vocals too. "You make me bulletproof when I'm layin' next to you" I'm sorry but these are lyrics I expect from Simple Plan and Good Charlotte, lyrically I was really disappointed with this song but I really like the music. Unfortunately that's not enough for me to ever play this song again. I would prefer to hear a bunch of people vomiting.

“All About You” - I like the heaviness of the intro but god knows why he decided to turn the song into another second rate Bon Jovi track? Maybe it's because of the writing team he used on the album I don't know. What I do know is that Paul Stanley is supposed to represent himself and or Kiss not Bon Jovi. I hate this song. The do do do vocal gymnastic is just sickening. I hate this song; just hate it nothing more to say.

“Second To None” - This is now the third time I have listened to this song and still I am sitting here with my head hanging in my hands. If this song doesn't scream of the mid-eighties then nothing ever will. If Paul was always planning on songs like this to sell his solo album then he should have used the three tracks he wrote back in the mid-eighties for this album ('Best Man For Ya', 'Don't Let Go', 'Time Traveller'). If I put myself in the mindset of 1987 then this song works well but in 2006 I think many people will find it boring and disappointing. In parts Paul vocally sounds like his struggling which really didn't help convince me that 'Second to One was a great song.

“It's Not Me” - I am a huge fan of the chorus in this song both musically and vocally, but the verses just don't do it for me. This is one song that I'm really in two minds about. This is Paul Stanley's version of Bon Jovi's 'Its My Life' crossed with 'Have a Nice Day'. I am not the biggest fan of the guitar solo or the way the song ends. Something really lacks in this song, I just can't put my finger on it.

“Loving You Without You Now” - Is one of my favorite songs on the album. If you are a fan of Paul Stanley's 1978 solo album then there is a great chance you will love this song. The string section really adds something spectacular to the track. I enjoy this song the more I play it. No doubt you will too.

“Where Angels Dare” - Let's just say I really expected a whole lot more from Paul Stanley. The chorus was cool but that's about all this song had going for it in my eyes. I couldn't help but here similar riffs to classic rock songs such as 'Gimmie Some Lovin' and 'Jean Genie' in this one. Lyrically this was probably my favorite song but overall I won't be playin’ it again.

After listening to this album a few times I can now say that overall it is a massive disappointment. Musically nothing at all stood out some of the drumming sounding like a machine, bass playing and guitar work not much better for the most part. Knowing that Bruce Kulick (Kiss / Union) and John 5 (Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie) both feature on this album along side Stanley I am amazed at the quality of these songs or the lack of. Even though I thought this album was much better then Gene's effort there is no doubt that for the most part I hated it and will find it hard to play most of these tracks ever again. It's obvious to me that Stanley/Simmons is a vicious writing musical team but only when they are together. Both solo albums are weak and lack in many areas. I was overall disappointed with the lyrical content in many of the songs which was such a huge surprise considering the talented team of writers including Paul Stanley, Desmond Child (Kiss, Alice Cooper / Bon Jovi) and Andreas Carlsson (Bon Jovi etc), 'Live To Win' and 'Bulletproof' both seem laughable to me. The sad truth is that this album is going to shoot straight into the charts at top positions all around the world because us kiss fans are crazy and buy just about anything. I have to say to each and every kiss fan out there download this album before you spend money on it. No doubt many will like it but I'm sure just as many are going to hate it. I honestly would have preferred another best of kiss album over this. Extremely disappointed!

Complete track listing: Live To Win, Lift, Wake Up Screaming , Everytime I See You Around, Bulletproof, About You, Second To None, It's Not Me, Loving You Without You Now, Where Angels Dare.

Paul Stanley's Live to Win is due out October 24, 2006 via New Door Records/Universal Musical Enterprises.


Reviewed By: Cameron Edney