Paul Stanley – ‘Live to Win’ (2006) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

We are now in to 2006 and Kiss hasn’t put out a studio album in 8 years. 8 YEARS!!! That is insane. I figure Paul was getting a little restless and decided it was time for the follow-up to the 1978 first solo album. Heck, Gene finally did a solo album back a few years, so why not Paul. ‘Live to Win’ was finished and released on October 24, 2006 and yes, I was a release day buyer for this one. Come on, its Paul, why would I not be.

Paul brought in a lot of people to help with this album and the usual suspects are there including his long time collaborator, Desmond Child. We also see Marti Frederiksen, Holly Knight and even John 5 plus a few other writers. I believe there is only one song Paul wrote by himself. As far as musicians on the album, you do get John 5 on a couple and you get Kiss alum Bruce Kulick on bass…wait…what??? Bruce on bass? I’m sorry, Bruce is a bad ass guitar player, why is he mitigated to only the bass. Seems like a waste. And lastly, I noticed Tommy Denander who has played on it seems hundreds of albums. The rest of the musicians I am going to guess are studio guys and all very talented because all studio musicians are amazing.

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My Sunday Song – “I”m Not An Angel” by Halestorm

For My Sunday Song #234, we are going to dive in to “I’m Not An Angel” by Halestorm which was off their debut album ‘Halestorm’. The song was written by Lzzy Hale, Howard Benson, Kara DioGuardi and Marti Frederiksen which are some heavy hitters in the song writing department. Kara has written a ton of hits and was a judge on American Idol and Marti, who hasn’t he written for might be easier. Pretty strong group for a band’s debut album. The label must have thought very highly of this band and rightfully so.

The song is a sad power ballad. It chronicles a very tragic relationship with Lzzy. Lzzy has been very open about her mental troubles and good on her for that as more discussion is always needed around that topic. The song talks about how the person she was with couldn’t handle all her emotional roller coasters. He saw the issues but tried to stick it out anyway. She tried to push him away, but at the same time couldn’t resist him. It was a very turbulent sounding relationship and she goes on to admit that she wasn’t an angel in this relationship. It is really a beautiful, yet very tragic story.

Musically, the band shows a much softer side to their sound. They are able to tone things down, but keep the talent shining. Lzzy shows that her powerful vocals can be also be so tender, thoughtful and bring the emotion needed to convey the story. Everyone’s playing served the song with no showboating and it was great to see this side of the band.

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