mission wrote:I have been thinking for some time about KISS. I am unabashed fan of my idea of KISS, an idea formed in about 1974 when as a 5-year-old, I badgered my mum into buying ALIVE! and sat for what may have been days looking at the impossibly cool kids in the gatefold sleeve picture.
To these ears, early - pre-disco - KISS has a pretty neat hold on a lot of the principles and shibboleths of power pop as mentioned in this (excellent) thread. I am talking of the sloppy but tight drums, the bright upfront guitar sound, the obvious Anglophile/Beatles love affair evidenced by harmonies, all members having a go at singing lead on "their" song - and so on.
We also get, as the almost sole subject matter of the songs, the self-referential celebration of "rock music" - and all that that phrase means. It's all about partying and rocking and being a rock star and partying and rocking as a rockstar. Ortega Y Gasset, in an essay about how Realism is a monstrous aberration in the history of taste, argues that the proper subject of art is art itself.
To my mind, as well as similar aesthetis sensibilities in terms of instrumentation and arrangement, "power pop" and "bubblegum rock" share this essential characteristic of art.
The excellent observations made above, about the connections of these kinds of music to memories of uncomplicated times and feelings - to youth itself - also apply.
Don't know how I missed this one.
Like Cheap Trick or Enuff 'Z' Nuff, the loud guitars throw people off from KISS being true power pop at heart.