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3.5 Stars - Ace is back!
on December 20, 2009
If you are a long time Kiss fan, its hard not to root for the Space Ace. Its obvious Kiss was never the same after he left, but he didn't exactly create a monster legacy out of his solo works. Outside of the Kiss branded solo albums of 1978, Ace had sporadic success (during the 80's) with some quality songs hidden on mediocre albums.
Having lost many years of creative output to the bottle, its great to see Ace back in fine form. I saw him live in April of 08, so I knew he wouldn't embarrass himself with this release.
A slightly uneven CD, Anomaly reinforces what we already know about Ace. He knows how to write catchy rock songs and is a great guitarist. This CD isn't a vehicle for him to self indulge with bombastic guitar solos. Instead, his guitar work compliments the songs. Here is my breakdown of Anomaly:
- Pain in the Neck. Yeesh. Sounds like an 80's B-side stinker.
- The insrumentals. 'Space Bear' being the best. But I've never understood all the adulation for his 'Fractured' series of instrumentals.
- The cover tune. 'Fox on the Run' is fun but lacked energy. Doesn't come close to his best covers: New York Groove and Do Ya'.
- Ace's singing voice. Ok, hear me out, this isn't about range or being a charismatic front man. Simply put, his voice is distinctly Ace and it refuses to age. You'd never guess the guy was in his late 50's.
- Hard driving rockers. Foxy & Free, Outer Space, and Sister. Sister contains a perfect, signature Ace Frehley guitar solo. Loved it.
- Mid tempo, introspective pop/rock songs. Change the World, Little Below the Angels (ya i know its crazy cheesy at the end), and Its a Great Life. Ace will never be considered a poet, but these are catchy songs that display maturity and heart. They also offer hope that Ace has permanently moved on from wasting his life away to alcohol. He has never been burdened with having to write songs that sound like Kiss, and these are proof of that. Not bad for a dude that used to make his living wearing makeup and platform boots : )