Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, “Now and Then” (uDiscover)
The love guns have all been unloaded and securely holstered, and Detroit is soul city, not rock city this time out as Paul Stanley, ringleader of the four-ring circus known as Kiss, pays homage to classic soul on a new solo album.
The starry-eyed singer and guitarist covers some of the greatest soul songs ever written, and writes five new tracks very much in that spirit.
It may surprise, if not shock, many Kiss fans. But then, they embraced Peter Criss’s orchestral ballad “Beth,” and didn’t mind (much) when Gene Simmons covered the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
There’s no arena rock to be found here. Crooning and falsetto abounds on The Spinners’ “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love;” The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination;” and Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks of My Tears.” He even retains the electric sitar on “You Are Everything” by The Stylistics.
And not since Barack Obama crooned a few bars of it has there been a more unexpected cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.”
Some of Stanley’s originals are quite good as well, and would have had a decent chance of being AM radio hits in the ’70s, including “Save Me” and “Whenever You’re Ready.”
Current Kiss drummer Eric Singer is part of the 11-member band of top-notch musicians and singers Stanley has assembled.