Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ace Frehley - Anomaly

With the most anticipated new Frehley release since Frehley’s Comet in 1987, Ace Frehley has brought forth Anomaly. This is his first solo album in nearly 20 years. In the interim, Ace took time to get completely clean and sober and throw himself into his work. So, is the end result worthy of your $12 investment? Let’s spin the disc and find out.

With Ace handling the guitar and vocal duties and noted session drummer Anton Fig (Kiss) and the excellent Scott Coogan (Brides of Destruction, Lynch Mob) handling percussion, Anomaly certainly had an all star cast behind it. The disc opens with the hard rocking Foxy & Free, which immediately showcases Ace’s ability with the guitar. His voice sounds great, albeit a little bit older. The song hits hard right away and it is a great opener for the new disc.

Outer Space is the lead single from Anomaly, and I have to admit, I wasn’t crazy about it. When I first heard it online, I had concerns that this solo album may not be that strong. Well, rest assured, Outer Space is one of the weaker songs on Anomaly. While not a terrible song, the music and lyrics just did not blend together well and the end result is a poorly constructed tune.

Fox On The Run is a cover of the classic Sweet songs that sounds a little too much like Ace’s cover of Do Ya’ from Trouble Walkin’. That being said, it is still an incredible song. Ace’s voice is in top form for this track and his guitar playing is over the top, classic Ace style. A nice one-two steady beat completes this blues inspired rocker. This is a fantastic song that will have feet tapping in no time. Crank up your car stereo, roll down the windows, and go for a ride while blasting this song. It’s that much fun.

Genghis Khan is not a remake of the classic Iron Maiden tune, it is an Ace Frehley original that makes absolutely no sense lyrically. “So long, Genghis Khan. Now you’re gone, so long” are all the lyrics that Ace had to offer for this one. Musically the song is pretty awesome, lyrically it’s a clunker. The guitar work is amazing from intro to ending; some of Frehley’s best chops are displayed here. Ace would have served us all better by leaving this as an instrumental.

Too Many Faces continues the excellent rock and roll that Frehley has delivered on the album so far. Another steady beat rock and roller with great guitar work, fantastic drums, and Ace’s voice still sounding sharp and clear. This is a song about changing your inner person for the better and how all of the faces in the mirror are looking at us wanting to know why we are changing. It’s a song about fighting off your demons and moving on in your new and improved skin. An inspirational anthem, this is an amazing track.

While complete with some superior rock tracks, Anomaly does have its shortcomings as well. A Little Below The Angel is just horrendous. This is Frehley’s tribute to becoming clean and sober, and while the message is meaningful, the execution of the song is outright awful. And the spoken part of “Daddy, have you ever seen an angel?” “Sure, baby,” is laughable. I thought they were about to break out into a Christmas tune. Heinous.

Anomaly closes with another superb instrumental, Fractured Quantum. While using the word fractured in a closing instrumental on an Ace Frehley album is cliché by now, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is one terrific track. It starts off with a pleasant acoustic riff that bleeds into something more sophisticated and well structured. Ace goes out in classy style, which is the only way that he should.

Overall, Anomaly is a fantastic record that is worth every penny you spend on it. Ace is definitely in the running for comeback rocker of the year with this release. A solid, hard rocking, excellent production, the Ace is back and we’re glad to hear him again.

Track List
1. Foxy & Free
2. Outer Space
3. Pain In The Neck
4. Fox On The Run
5. Genghis Khan
6. Too Many Faces
7. Change The World
8. Space Bear
9. A Little Below The Angels
10. Sister
11. It’s A Great Life
12. Fractured Quantum

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