CD Review: Ace Frehley – Anomaly

Ace Frehley - AnomalyFormer KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is back with the highly anticipated and hugely hyped release Anomaly, his first CD of new solo music in 20 years.

In between a five-year Kiss reunion and recurring battles with alcohol, Frehley picked away at his new album, emerging with a disc that evokes the spirit of his stunning self-titled 1978 solo album. That disc was the most successful of the four Kiss solo albums which were simultaneously released, and the only one to spawn a hit single (New York Groove).

The album kicks off in style with Foxy And Free, which is swiftly followed by the first single, the aptly titled and very heavy Outer Space. An interesting track on the album is Sister, which has surfaced in various incarnations since the mid-80s. The Anomaly version isn’t far from those bootlegged demos, but seems to fit better on this CD rather than any others the guitarist has released to date.

While KISS is plugging away with 2 new members and re-invented costumes, nothing can beat the original spaceman when he’s at his best. And judging from the new CD, Ace is at his best and most creative in 25 years.

A Little Below The Angels is a revealing and personal acoustic piece that sounds a little bit like Guns N’ Roses Patience, but much more honest. It’s about the furthest departure from the traditional Frehley sound that has ever released. It’s interesting to hear Frehley as a story-teller. The track also includes Frehley’s daughter Monique talking to her dad. This could potentially be one of the most original tracks he has ever done.

In keeping with the “Fractured” tradition of ending his albums with an acoustic driven instrumental, Fractured Quantum is the closest he’s come to sounding like a natural sequel to Fractured Mirror from 1978.

It would be really hard for most musicians to top such classics as the KISS solo album or even Trouble Walkin’ (his last solo release from 1989), but Ace Frehley has once again stacked the deck with some of his best work.