Kiss

Unmasked

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AllMusic Review by

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.

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