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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ace Frehley - Anomaly CD review

Ace Frehley – Anomaly CD review

OK, here’s the thing I really wanted to like this new CD from Ace Frehley, as all the hype before it was released had much promise and I have a soft spot for the Space Ace too.
It’s been what, about 18 years since his last Ace Frehley solo studio work?

Here’s another thing, I have 2 great friends who have both been massive Ace Frehley fans for a number of years, I’m talking from since the glorious Kiss days and they both have different takes on this album. One says after that long between albums, he should’ve given us something better. The other guy says, he liked the humour and also how positive an album it was, even with the rehab inspired songs on it, but that’s their takes on it ... They are both die hard Ace Frehley fans though ...!

Me? I love opener ‘Foxy and Free,’ it’s got the total sleaze you would expect from Ace, but it rocks with a great fun vibe and his playing rips! Reminds me a little of Frehley’s Comet stuff.
The lead single of the album was ‘Outer Space,’ Ace’s statement that “He came from Outer Space …” and he’s, “… sick and tired of the human race.” It’s a really punky, grungy track that's pretty average for me.

‘Pain in the Neck’ is also kind of 70’s new wave meets grunge like for the most part, except for the odd bridge in the middle and for me doesn’t really go anywhere. It almost begs to kind of be a Kiss track, but it sounds a little short of making the grade. You won't forget the chorus though …
I must say on first play of this CD I was curious to hear the cover of Sweet’s 'Fox on the Run' and first time around, I wasn’t too sure, but now I think he’s done a great job and given it a little more too!

'Genghis Khan' is almost a sub-Zeppelin groove along type track, no verses here but part chorus, “So long Genghis Khan … Now you’re gone, so long.” Running at just over 6 minutes it’s OK, but really doesn’t go anywhere. Yes, Frehley rips it up in here throughout, but I don’t know. Doesn’t do it for me …
In 'Too Many Faces' he’s back to more familiar Frehley for me, almost Frehley’s Comet style again, even if it’s a little short on lyrics. Nice guitar work.

Ace’s song for peace in 'Change the World,' it’s almost George Harrison like to a degree, with a jangly guitar sound throughout, until Ace rips into the solo then it picks up a little. Sadly though, it doesn’t really go anywhere again.
The instrumental 'Space Bear' next and what’s going on here? It’s almost like a sub-Kiss type darker vibe track that gives Ace time for a little self indulgence during the solo and beyond, but really kind of repetitive for me.

The acoustic driven 'A Little Below the Angels,' tells tales of Ace’s over indulgences of excess, before picking up the pace about halfway through. He even has his daughter talking on here, asking if he’s ever seen an angel. Then she and friends throw in some angelic harmony vocals to lead the track out. Cute.

Then it’s back to the darker side of Ace in ‘Sister,’ with the trashy, punky, yet powerful vibe to it, but also brings to mind the classic Frehley track 'Rock Soldiers' to a degree.
‘It’s a Great Life’ is a kind of pop / rock chug along feel to it, brings to mind more familiar Ace sounds again.

Closing track 'Fractured Quantum' I know picks up where 'Trouble Walking's' 'Fractured 3' left off and 'Fractured Mirror' from the first Ace solo record, 'Fractured Too' from 'Loaded Deck.' I guess a ‘pleasant’ instrumental guitar track for Ace to wrap up.

I really have played this CD again and again on road trips in the car and really tried to give it more opportunity to grab me, but sadly it really hasn’t.
Sure, there are moments when it’s great Ace fun stuff, but I kind of thought it might have had something a little more special to it. It’s not bad, but for me not great.
Rating: 3 out of 5.

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