Kiss – Unmasked (1980/2014) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Kiss – Unmasked (1980/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:55 minutes | 1,6 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | Label: Universal Music GmbH

Unmasked is the eighth studio album by American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1980. It was the last studio album to feature the original lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss until the band reunited in 1996. Criss actually had no involvement with the recording of the album; Anton Fig (uncredited) played all the drums on the album.

Although Unmasked was certified gold shortly after its release in the U.S., it quickly fell off the charts. Deciding factors included the band’s failure to mount a stateside tour, the fact that the majority of the compositions on Unmasked were easily forgettable, and longtime fans’ weariness with Kiss’ attempts to branch out into other musical styles. Vini Poncia was on board as producer again, and again he replaces the raw, heavy rock of earlier Kiss releases with pop gloss. Several tracks are indeed strong, and would have benefited greatly by a more direct sound, such as “Is That You?”, “Talk to Me”, “Two Sides of the Coin”, “Naked City”, and the single, “Shandi”. But there’s more filler on Unmasked than the average Kiss release – “What Makes the World Go ‘Round”, “Tomorrow”, and “She’s So European” are tedious and predictable, both compositionally and sonically. Again, session drummer Anton Fig fills in for Peter Criss, who would officially split from the band soon after the album’s release (eventually replaced by Eric Carr). Although the band’s popularity dwindled in their homeland, they embarked on a massively successful European and Australian tour, where Unmasked was a huge hit, until year’s end.

01 – Is That You?
02 – Shandi
03 – Talk To Me
04 – Naked City
05 – What Makes The World Go Round
06 – Tomorrow
07 – Two Sides Of The Coin
08 – She’s So European
09 – Easy As It Seems
10 – Torpedo Girl
11 – You’re All That I Want