Kiss, ‘Long Way Down’ – Song Review
‘Long Way Down,’ the new single from Kiss‘ ‘Monster’ album (impacting radio on Oct. 23), is a jack that slides nicely into a handful of face cards. The meaty rock song is like their most well-known hits, but it’s not one that requires a strong poker face when you pick it up. It’s still one to appreciate at the turn, however.
With a big, beefy guitar riff and an in your face message, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and company have arranged a song that could fit on many albums from the band’s past. This hard rocker isn’t the answer to critics who accuse Kiss of being one-dimensional, but the band really stopped caring about those people decades ago.
“Standing tall ’til you realize you’re here / Look away but you can’t pretend / Gonna pray for a way when the end is near,” Stanley sings on this song about avoiding the comforts of success.
“It’s a long way down / When the ground starts coming / I tried to tell you, but you would not listen / It’s a long way when you fall from the top,” he adds during the chorus.
Although likely not intentional, ‘Long Way Down’ recalls memories of Led Zeppelin (‘Out on the Tiles’) and T-Rex (‘Buick Mackane’). With a thin melody and screaming electric guitars one could also argue it’s very Van Halen-esque.
“No chance when the end is near / Hear the words that you never thought you’d hear,” Stanley sings. Lyrically the song doesn’t truly reveal itself until subsequent listens. At first it’s a chore to figure out what he’s saying.
Kiss reaffirms, rather than expands, their brand with ‘Long Way Down.’ The song is more than sufficient in proving that as they approach 40 years together, they’re still well-worth the ticket price, but it’s not the hit that will convince those keeping them out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to change their vote.