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Kix

Midnite Dynamite

Format: CD   Release Date: 01/02/1993
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By 1985, pop-metal had become one of the dominate genres in pop music thanks to the success of groups like Quiet Riot and Ratt. Although Kix's material remained more ambitious than the pop-metal groups they were lumped in with, the group went for a more pop-metal sound on Midnight Dynamite by using Beau Hill (best known for his work with Ratt and Warrant) as their producer. As a result, songs like the title track and "Layin' Rubber" have the slick, conventional sound expected of pop-metal recordings but manage to rise above the genre's trend with surprising hooks like the unexpectedly lovely harmonies that build up to the chorus in "Midnight Dynamite" and the bubblegum chants that are woven in "Layin' Rubber." The hooks in the songs don't leap out of the speakers this time out the way they did on Kix or Cool Kids, but the group makes up for this by testing out all sorts of new sounds and genres: "Walkin' Away" is a plaintive ballad that is built on synthesizers instead of guitars, and the surprisingly funky "Cold Shower" flirts with rap in its vocal melody. Meanwhile, songs like "Red Hot (Black and Blue)" and "Lie Like a Rug" keep up the album's hard rock quotient and balance their solid guitar riffs with enough pop harmonies and hooks to keep things interesting. Ultimately, Midnight Dynamite lacks the coherence and sonic ambition that marked their first two albums but still remains a strong, likeable collection of pop/rock tunes. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

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