Review

The scattershot gospel according to Gene Simmons is laid out on Speaking in Tongues, a lecture on life by the demon, caught on disc. In an attempt to come off as the Will Rogers of heavy metal, Simmons gives plenty of quips, but it's really nothing you haven't heard from the world of standup comedy (he tests the mic with "Testicle, one, two, three..." for crying out loud). Whether you look at him as the messiah of hedonism or the most misguided jerk in music today, Speaking in Tongues is more entertaining for both sides than anything the man has done with a bass for the past decade or so. Depending on your viewpoint, his stern confidence is either stately or ridiculous, but his jokes are funny or at least outrageous. Kiss Kondoms and Kiss Kaskets are the proof Gene's gonna get your money "comin' and goin'." The cute and feather-haired Australian audience eats it up. He announces the Gene Simmons clothing line (racks and racks of black shirts and white ties!) and plugs his magazine, but he barely talks about Kiss with anything but revisionist history or dreamy nostalgia. He claims to be amazed at all the fame and fortune, but no humility comes out, none at all. He's "take it or leave it" and itching to offend, so take that into consideration. The only thing else you need to know is that the one-track, can't-skip-ahead format of the disc is annoying, and the sound effects that pepper the lecture don't always make sense, as if they were dumped direct from the video without their visual cues. Now, when Paul Stanley gets around to doing these lecture thingies, that's gonna be delicious. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi

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