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Gene Simmons Asshole Sanctuary Records
Produced By: Gene Simmons

Running Time: 45.03

Release Date: May 19, June 8

Released: WORLD

Musical Style: All over the show...

Links: Gene Simmons Sanctuary Records
29%
Songs: 15%
Sound: 50%
Gene Simmons is an interesting personality. Is he more business than music? He is more content on conjuring up new merchandise opportunities instead of writing new material?
One would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but after living with this album for several days, one could only conclude that his devotion to his music lies second behind making a quick buck.
I went into this album with an open mind. I'm a fan of Kiss without being devoted to them. I think Paul Stanley is a great talent. From this album I expected a diverse range of songs as suggested by the rather over the top press release issued recently, but I was still very much taken by surprise. Surprised at how bloody awful this is. This is just horrid. Simply put this album has no direction, no balance, no quality control and no songs.
There just isn't any sense that this album was written and recorded for art's sake. I'm still shocked that Gene would approve of and release such an album which will stand within his discography for the rest of time.
I'm not a fan of directionless albums. I like cohesive bodies of work that features songs written and recorded at the same time for the same purpose. I don't like disjointed albums and as far as chopping and changing of styles that don't mix or match, this record is certainly one of the worst offenders I have heard.
Track By Track:
Sweet & Dirty Love is the lead track being promoted from this set of songs. That's of no surprise, as it's easily the best track on offer. This is a groovy, Kiss inspired 70's rocker with a nice fat bass sound and a traditional Simmons vocal. But from here it's all down hill. Firestarter is an exact repeat of the Prodigy industrial-dance hit, with Gene's ordinary vocal simply laid over it.
Weapons Of Mass Destruction is a horrible grunge inspired hard rocker, which leads into a soft programmed synth ballad - Waiting For The Morning Light. This track features Bob Dylan. It's an interesting and a well crafted acoustic based track, but is this what Gene Simmons fans want? And what a change in tempo's and style.
The last three songs are not strong, but laying them end to end just emphasizes how dire they really are. Four massive style changes within four songs - there is just no consistency to the sound or style.
Beautiful makes it five styles from 5 tracks. This is a psychedelic acoustic pop ballad with a bland vocal and a dull chorus.
Asshole features yet another style an uptempo modern melodic rocker, but thankfully it's quite a lot of fun, features a great lyric and a catchy chorus at last. Funnily enough, Gene didn't write the song.
Now That You're Gone is a Beatle-esque 70's pop ballad similar to Beautiful, but the inclusion of this track is seriously beginning to make this a very laid back album.
Whatever Turns You On is another good lyric, but fails to lift the tempo past slow to middle of the road.
Dog is just utter crap. More semi-alternative pop with a heavy modern rock guitar riff buried underneath and a (barely) spoken vocal.
Black Tongue is a groovy retro rocker featuring the Zappa family. Somewhat Kiss related, but no great vocal effort again from Gene.
Carnival Of Souls is another Kiss off-cut the band might have been better of for it too. A plain, heavy alternative rocker with little soul.
If I Had A Gun is another acoustic based pop song with another banal vocal.
I Dreamed A Thousand Dreams finally brings this disaster to an end. Yet another soft-pop track with little melody and yet another bland vocal.
The Bottom Line
This album is sadly just a mish-mash of unrelated songs. There is no comfort in getting used to any one style, as every track is different and the whole album smacks of being thrown together. I honestly believe it's a blight on Sanctuary Records that they accepted this for release. The songs - style aside - generally just aren't good enough.
I imagine that some true die hard Kiss/Gene fans will vocally pronounce their admiration of this album, but I strongly recommend that no one look sideways at this release without sampling it heavily first.
In the end, I don't believe anyone will stand up for this album and proclaim it to be a great piece of work. In my humble opinion it's utterly horrendous - even more dire considering Gene is such high profile name in the business.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Gene Simmons
Asshole

Line Up
Promo: Not Listed
Essential for die-hard fans of:
Gene
Track Listing
Sweet & Dirty Love*
Firestarter
Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Waiting For The Morning Light
Beautiful
Asshole*
Now That You're Gone
Whatever Turns You On
Dog
Black Tongue
Carnival Of Souls
If I Had A Gun
I Dreamed A Thousand Dreams
--*Best Tracks



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