Saturday 15 December 2018

Album Review: ACE FREHLEY - Spaceman

Ace Frehley - Spaceman

01. Without You I'm Nothing
02. Rockin' With The Boys
03. Your Wish Is My Command
04. Bronx Boy
05. Pursuit Of Rock And Roll
06. I Wanna Go Back (Eddie Money cover)
07. Mission To Mars
08. Off My Back
09. Quantum Flux

Ace Frehley has been quite prolific in recent years. Spaceman is his eighth studio album (if you include his Frehley's Comet records), and his fourth in the last nine years. Over the last decade, he has certainly developed a knack for releasing records at the same time as his old band Kiss, or coincidently releasing them when Kiss are doing something special. This time, Spaceman came out just as Kiss announced their huge worldwide farewell tour, no doubt to capitalise on the press generated, and blatantly to stir up external pressure to get him involved with the tour.

I love Ace, and his playing and larger-than-life character really captured my imagination when I was a kid. His influence in early Kiss, as well as his iconic stage persona, was clearly a key ingredient to their success. However, as a solo artist, I find his music quite hit and miss. Occasionally, he comes out with something amazing, but more often, his output is just 'pretty good'. His last few albums have had a handful of fantastic tracks, but too many that don't exactly set my world on fire. That's also the case with Spaceman.

My issue with Spaceman is that it mostly feels contrived and uninspired. Its as though Ace is simply mailing it in. I'm always sceptical of songs with Rockin' or Rock And Roll in the title, as it just screams 'generic, idea-free rock with nothing to say'. I'm sure it was cool in the 70's, but, c'mon!

Gene Simmons co-wrote and played on Without You I'm Nothing, which is the best song on here, and also on the track Your Wish Is My Command. Rockin' With The Boys is a left-over track from the 70's, and I think there was a reason that it never made any of his previous albums. It's not terrible, but he's written way better songs. It's not all mediocre though, as Mission To Mars is a lively, punky number, and the Eddie Money cover is quite enjoyable too. The fact that he recorded a cover for an album that only has nine songs on it, especially when he's working on Origins Vol.2 which will be his second covers record, reinforces my opinion that he's effectively knocked together a collection of cast-offs just to make a few quid.

Let's face it, us Kiss fans have a loyalty to its members, past and present, and we're all going to buy Ace's records anyway. Even if he doesn't always strike gold, there's something reassuring about hearing his unmistakable voice and guitar licks. However, I know he's capable of so much more than what he's offering here.

No comments

Post a Comment

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig