3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Unmasked (Audio CD)
1980's "Unmasked" almost always ranks at the bottom of Kiss fans' list, right next to "The Elder." I've always liked this album, especially the Ace Frehley songs. However, there seems to be a new appreciation of this album, almost thirty years after the fact.
No, it's not the typical hard rock Kiss fans came to know and love over the years; it's more closely linked to 1979's "Dynasty," and showed the band struggling to retain the momentum from "I Was Made For Loving You," their biggest international hit to date (keyword: international). Yet they focused more on the rock tunes than the disco with this album.
With "Unmasked" Kiss delivered more of a pop oriented album, yet there's still personality to it. By that, I mean it's got the Kiss sound that's missing on most of the later 80's albums. When Kiss tried the pop direction again with 1987's "Crazy Nights," they checked their identity at the door and tied to be Michael Bolton, Foreigner, Bon Jovi... fill in the blank. Maybe it's having that third person (Ace) there to lend a different sound, but to me, it works. It also worked for fans in Austrialia who made is Kiss' biggest selling record in that country.
Paul's songs ("Is That You?", "Shandi," "Tomorrow," and "Easy as it Seems") dip into hard rock, soft rock, and disco. I particularly like "Tomorrow."
Gene's tunes ("Naked City," "She's So European," and "You're All That I Want") lean more towards soft rock, with "She's So European" being the best of the three.
Ace's songs ("Talk to Me," "Two Sides of the Coin," and "Torpedo Girl") are the best -- and most fun -- on the album.
If there is a problem with the album, it's the comic book cover with the reporter claiming that "Kiss still sucks." Not good PR, and not a good cover. The poster that was inside with the band removing their masks, only to reveal the same masked faces beneath would have been the better choice.