Kiss thankfully threw the keyboards from 'Crazy Nights' in the trash and at least tried to dirty things up again on 1989's 'Hot in the Shade.'
Despite being too long, suffering from an overall lack of focus (and about the worst cover art of any of their albums to date), there are definitely some bright spots on this record.
Opening track 'Rise to It' is a nicely effective pulse-raiser, 'Hide Your Heart' finds them out-dueling their former bandmate Ace Frehley's version of the same song, and the hit 'Forever' is an emotionally direct ballad that works way better than it should.
Otherwise, there are waaaay too many undercooked ideas here. It's hard to understand why this album is half again as long as almost every other Kiss record ever recorded.
To our ears (and hearts), the most impressive and memorable track on 'Shade' is the defiant, celebratory 'Little Caesar,' sung by the group's longtime second drummer, Eric Carr, who would soon succumb to cancer. It was the first time he got to sing lead on a studio Kiss track and he knocked it out of the park.
In fact, we dare you to vote for another track as the best song on 'Shade,' although you're certainly free to do so.