Saturday, September 13, 2014

KISS - Animalize

Today (September 13th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Animalize, the twelfth studio album from KISS. This one spent thirty-eight weeks on the US Billboard Album chart and peaked at number 19. It also went to number 41 in Canada, number 40 in Australia, number 25 in Germany, number 14 in Austria and Norway, number 11 in the UK, number 9 in Switzerland, number 8 in Sweden, and number 4 in Finland.

Side one begins with the blazing guitar intro of the rebellious rocker “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)”.

The first single was “Heaven’s on Fire”, a song about burning desire. It charted at number 62 in Australia, number 49 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 46 in Canada, number 43 in the UK, number 34 in the Netherlands, number 19 in Sweden, and number 11 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The opening guitar riff instantly makes me think of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

The fiery theme continues with the next track. The B-side to the second single was “Burn Bitch Burn”, a down-and-dirty ditty about sexual domination.

“Get All You Can Take” is a middle-of-the-road number about grabbing all the gusto you can in life.

The first side closes with slow strutting rhythm of “Lonely Is the Hunter”, the B-side to the first single.

Side two opens with “Under the Gun”. I like the rapid-fire rhythm of this “living on the edge” anthem. This one is the first on the record that reminded me of classic KISS.

“Thrills in the Night” was released as the second single. It tells of a professional woman by day and a promiscuous woman by night. I was waiting for this one to pick up between the verses and the chorus, but it never did. It kept tightly wound like a spring that never got to explode. A shame.

“While the City Sleeps” is next. The second verse has a line that starts “it’s a hit or miss”; I would go with a definite miss.

The record closes with “Murder in High Heels”, another song about a repressed woman who is ready to let her sexuality out. At least this one has a catchy rhythm to it.

This was my first listen to all of Animalize, and I honestly don’t think I was missing much these last few decades by having skipped it. I am certain I had heard the singles back in the day, at least via the occasional video showing on MTV. Beyond that, this one just came across as if KISS were having a hard time finding their way in the new decade. I might revisit it someday, but not any time soon.

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