“Live To Win” by Paul Stanley

Artist: Paul Stanley
Title: “Live To Win”
Label: New Door Records/Universal Music
Release Date: 10/24/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Paul Stanley of KISS is a man who needs no introduction as for over 30 years he has been the Starchild, a front man without peer, a legendary performer and the epitome of the words “Rock Star”. Paul is truly a man who has done it all and now to the delight of his millions of fans he has recorded and released his second solo album of totally new songs. Fans of KISS need not worry about this being a cloned record of his career highlights or a revisit to the killer solo album he released in tandem to the other KISS members in 1978, but instead will find a tasty and well-produced Hard Rock recording. Entitled “Live To Win”, the album starts off with a positive message on how to handle ones life and it is a classic sounding rocker. The album itself is full of mixed feels and this is probably because of the various writers Paul had helping him. The presence of Desmond Child, a long time writing partner of Paul’s is there and that is fine by me but I was left wondering why he felt the need to use other song-writers who are more geared to the contemporary Pop scene than to that of a classic Hard Rocker like Paul. Fans will not find the same impact on this recording like the old 1978 album, but this is because time and musical climate has changed since then. Songs like “Lift” sounds like something you would expect to find Evanescence doing but Paul’s pure and powerful voice makes this style work. “Bulletproof” and “Where Angels Dare” have some KISS-like vibe ala their “Crazy Nights” or “Smashes, Thrashes, Hits” years with a sleek and polished drive and highly catchy lyrical content. The key that all listeners must be aware of is the fact that this is NOT a KISS record, and just new music from Paul. His band is largely studio players but he also has former KISS band mate Bruce Kulick and John 5 handling some guitar. On the coming tour Paul will have the “House Band” from the hit television series Rock Star: INXS & Supernova. That should be exciting since those guys could play.

Other numbers that should impress the Paul fanatics would be “All About You” and given that this is one of the harder rockers on the release it should be a quick favorite for those that yearn for the heavier stuff. Ballad fans might enjoy the two inclusions in “Everytime I See You Around” and “Loving You Without You”. The big question is will this album find the same appeal in the world outside of the KISS realm and while the music tide is an ever-changing beast I think there is a strong possibility in this happening. It’s a good effort from a very talented and worldly musician who is admired by more people than one could possibly count. Live to win, it’s a good idea so let’s try to do some of that while we can.

Song Listing:
1. Live To Win
2. Lift
3. Wake Up Screaming
4. Everytime I See You Around
5. Bulletproof
6. All About You
7. Second To None
8. It’s Not Me
9. Loving You Without You
10. Where Angels Dare

Official Web site: www.paulstanley.com

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