2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Much like Kiss, Ace Frehley returns in 2009 with an album that is hyped as "the best thing since the 70's". And, much like Kiss, that is both true and untrue. Read on!
I love Ace, always have, but his solo work is so infrequent. Ace himself hyped this album as the closest thing to his 1978 solo debut. It's not. It has certain qualities in common, such as the sheer quality of the songs and the fact that Ace sings every song himself. (Previous albums had Tod Howarth and Richie Scarlet singing as well.) However the sound is drastically different and very 2009. The guitars are heavy and chunky, metallic slabs of heavy coming right at you. Check first single "Outer Space" to see what I mean. That classic Les Paul sound is scarce on Anomaly.
I do like the album. Some songs are weak ("Pain In The Neck") but some songs are just pure awesomeness wrapped up in a ball of lightning! Check out "Genghis Khan", his cover of "Fox On The Run" (reminded me of when he did "Do Ya"), or "Foxy & Free". It may not sound like 1978 as Ace suggested, but it sounds great!
I also have a soft spot for the autobiographical ballad, "A Little Below The Angels".
Ace produces. Anton Fig plays drums on some songs, and Anthony Esposito (Lynch Mob) plays bass on a few. Great players. Ace is shredding. It's like he knew he had something to prove. And he did!
Four stars. Not quite perfect. Every bit as good as the Kiss album, but very different from it too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 : )
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ace Frehley has announced a new solo album since 1996; it's been a long time since. Then the KISS reunion happened and it was postponed until latter. After the tour Ace was quiet about the album but it seems he still worked on it all these years. Then in late 2008 that it was almost done in the mixing process and that it was to be released soon. Latter the "Anomaly" title was give, quite cool title by the way and finally it has arrived on Sept 14 2009, quite a few years after it was first announced. But you know what? That's okay with Ace we knew we were going to get something that was worth it, and he wouldn't disappoint us. For any fan of Ace; you know this he always delivered: with KISS, when he went solo and he still delivers now.
The hilarious cheap made add for the album was enough for me to buy this album, that and the few clips of songs I heard. It sounded like Ace was back and rocked big time and this album does just that; it rocks big time! His voice sounds very much the same as it did even back during the 70s except it has that something in his voice that only someone who's been around for a long time, confidence. His guitar playing is also top-notch, great riffs and even better solos, he doesn't try to be too complicated or sound too current he just does his thing and that's it.
Foxy and Free opens up the album in a good way, heavier than usual for Ace and I quite like the sound of it, this song is straight forward rocker and a great song. Outer Space the next song was the first song I heard of the album and I love it, read the lyrics; it's pure Ace, the song makes you rock hard. Fox on the Run is a cover of the same song by the band Sweet, his cover is really good, another great song, the echo at the beginning is a nice effect. Pain In The Neck has an amazing solo, catchy song and the signature change is very nice Genghis Kahn starts out with slow guitars and gets into this terrific song; it remains an instrumental until just over 2 minutes. It's been described as a song worth alone getting the album for and I believe it's not far from the truth. Too Many Faces sounds like something that could have been on his first solo album, very solid and good chorus.
Change The World is not bad I feel it's a subject covered too much and it doesn't say anything, I still listen and I like it but it's my least favourite here. Space Bear is a hard-rocking instrumental, just amazing music sort of like Fractured Mirror from his first album. The ballad A Little below the Angels is a surprise Ace is not really known for doing great ballads and here he just plays acoustic guitar and it sounds simple and beautiful. The lyrics are excellent, the spoken part is touching too, there's even kids singing after that, no it's not John Lennon its Ace alright. Sister is another great song, has a great riff and good tempo changes. It's a Great Life has great guitar work, the song is catchy and it has a good vibe. Fractured Quantum is the last song finishing with some great acoustic work, a great piece of music, really simple and really nice.
Anomaly rocks surprisingly for someone who hasn't released anything in solo for more than twenty years. In fact Ace is not only giving us a great album here but something better than what probably most fans thought he would do. I'll even say that he gives his ex-band KISS a run for their money (I'm a huge fan of the band also don't take it personal). If you are an Ace Frehley fan there is simply no way you could be deceived by Anomaly its pure Ace! It sounds like his 78'solo album, his solo work and a little current and heavier than usual too. Even some of my friends who weren't necessarily KISS or Ace fans liked a few songs here. What's great is that Ace is in full control of his abilities he's sober and doesn't use drugs. I believe he was focused not by the money but to make a great album and I can say mission accomplished I'm very impressed. In fact Anomaly debuted # 27 on Billboard certainly a respectable position. Not that it matters, what matters is how good the album actually is. Ace's Anomaly is highly recommended to his fans he gives us a great album which won't leave you deceived.
on January 13, 2010
I gave this cd a five star because firstly Ace has come back from the dead. He has curbed his addictions, left Kiss again and focused on himself. This is his fifth studio album with Ace on Vocals and guitar. I have always loved Ace and have all his cd's and of course all of Kiss. Some songs are Awesome and some are OK. Highlights are FOX ON THE RUN, OUTER SPACE, FOXY AND FREE and lastly TOO MANY FACES. However, if you are a fan you will love them all and hope for more in the future.