Kiss: 'Monster' 

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The new Kiss album is out and it's exactly what fans were expecting. Building on the throwback format they established three years ago with Sonic Boom, the elder statesmen of face-paint have made minor technical improvements while leaving the overall machine running exactly as expected. The first two singles, "Hell or Hallelujah" and "Long Way Down," set the tone for the whole slick, riffed-out affair, and "Eat Your Heart Out" is pure vintage: stripped-down retro glam, with nary a concession to the passage of time — just the thing for old-timers and the odd newbie.

★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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