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Live to Win

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Album Review

Despite what some may believe, Live to Win is not Paul Stanley's solo debut. That honor goes to 1978's Paul Stanley (which was released in conjunction with solo releases by the three other Kiss members), an album so Kiss-like that the singer's full-time band could have easily stamped their logo on it and issued it as the studio follow-up to 1977's Love Gun. Nearly 30 years later, Stanley is ready to step out on his own again, and this time around, it's not the arena anthems you'd expect. In its place is a modern-day mainstream pop/rock production, which effectively smoothes out all the rough edges. In fact, the title track would sound perfect sung by an American Idol finalist (or wouldn't be out of place in an episode of Fame), while the ballad "Loving You Without You Now" treads dangerously on Barry Manilow territory. Elsewhere, mainstream pop/rock reins supreme ("All About You," "Wake Up Screaming," "Where Angels Dare," etc.). Despite the fact that much of this material will leave longtime fans of "Detroit Rock City" and "I Stole Your Love" scratching their heads as to where the cojones went, there's no denying that all these years later, Stanley is still in fine voice. A little more grit and much less polish would have certainly helped here.

Customer Reviews

Paul Stanley has a voice with character

it shows in this new release. I grew up loving the original solo lp from 1978 and really wished he would do something with that control over what he wanted. I got it here. Songwriting has always been a exceptionally strong skill of his and his voice still has fantastic range. A lot of todays musicians could learn from the production of this cd how songs are structured and performed. I am sure he learned some new ideas from them as well, but at least he left out the bad. I am quite thrilled with this release. Similiar to the old one, there is a good blend of rockers as well. Long live the Starchild and may there be more releases of this stature.


I just came back from his show in NYC at Irving Plaza..! Incredible.. I was standing there his parents walk past me going into VIP room.. The band was great.. Paul's voice was phenomonal . I only wish they played more off of LIVE TO WIN.. They played 4 songs.. Which was great .. This album is better than his first solo.. Which was an awesome album.!! I cannot wait for his next album.. But why didn't iTunes have the entire album on its release date. I only saw Partial Album.. only 6 songs were available. So i had to purchase the CD at Best Buy.. ?? GREAT ALBUM!!!!

A HUGE disappointment

What a disappointment. I am a lifelong KISS fan and have waited for a solo album from Paul for many years and will continue to wait because I’m going to ignore that this was ever released. For some unknown reason, Paul Stanley thought it would be a good idea to revert back to his 80’s style of writing which meant trying to copy Bon Jovi. He was so desperate that he even wrote again with Desmond Child. Child is a songwriter that Paul worked with during the “80’s. Paul introduced him to Bon Jovi and Child played a huge part in the writing of Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” and “New Jersey” albums. The problem here is if Paul wanted to sound like Bon Jovi, he should have tried to sound like today’s version and not the 1986 version. Rather than writing with Child, he should have worked with songwriters like Billy Falcon and John Shanks who both co-wrote large portions of “Have a Nice Day.” I understand Paul is writing for himself and not trying to sound like KISS, but what makes me angry is how contrived this release is. This is a modern day version of “Crazy Nights” except much weaker. At least Gene Simmons’ solo album was honest even if the music wasn’t top notch. LIVE TO WIN is too polished and contrived and at the end of the day just doesn't rock enough.


Born: January 20, 1952 in Manhattan, New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with his longtime companion, Gene Simmons, singer/guitarist/songwriter Paul Stanley has kept Kiss rocking and rolling along since the early '70s, successfully navigating through numerous peaks and valleys during the course of their lengthy career. With his posing, prancing, and oft-times corny stage raps, Stanley is one of arena rock's quintessential frontmen. Born Stanley Eisen on January 20, 1952, in Manhattan, NY (but raised in nearby Queens), Stanley began playing guitar and penning his...
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