's Comet comes along once every 72 years. Frehley's Comet
apparently comes around every 22. Ace Frehley
's 2009 LP release "Anomaly
" will more than anything else remind those who are familiar with his first solo project than asphyxiate this album to a more modern time.
To be sure, there are a number of tracks that prove Frehley's ability and creative force behind his Les Paul. Three tracks, instrumentally dominant, showcase and highlight all the great things that encompass this legendary rock guitarist. "Space Bear
" is rhythmically motivated with heavy rock riffs and chops. It is also one of the few songs that allow some drum and bass highlighting (as with most "solo" albums, this one is no different in ensuring post-production wise, that the featured artist is clearly heard over everybody else). "Genghis Khan" is probably the most superior, expansive, and creative of all the tracks. It also benefits from having a modern kind of feel. To opine, the one line of the song, "Now you're gone, Genghis Khan, so long," could be a very subtle slap at KISS bassist Gene Simmons
, who has in interviews past questioned Frehley's ability to evolve as a musician and thus used this reason as a means to Frehley's departure from the band in 1983. Finally, "Fractured Quantum" is the only welcome link to almost all of Frehley's previous work, with its classic variating segment progressions from the start to it's conclusion. It could be "Anomaly
"'s best track.
The problem with "Anomaly
" is the overall feel of the other tracks that hark back not only to the '80's but to an era in Ace Frehley
's creative output that wasn't so successful the first time around. The sounds are pleasant but the formula is old, like "Foxy and Free
" and "Outer Space". "Sister
" may be the most blatant; it could have been a b-side from the Comet-era albums. "A Little Below The Angels", although autobiographically honest with a great acoustic line and even a little bit of organ, once again employs Frehley's daughter (and friends, presumably) for background vocals that sonically comes off as "Dolls" part two. Finally, "Too Many Faces" opening measures uses that classic double/double time method that has been part of Frehley's repertoire since the Seventies.
" is by no means a copycat album, nor is it bad. Overall, the recording is great with an impressive capturing of Frehley's unique rock sound. There are other gems on the record, too, including the folksy "Change The World" a very friendly, soft song that shows Frehley in a more heartfelt light, and the cover "Fox
On The Run" - a most excellent rendition if not for anything else the peculiar similarity between Ace
's voice and the original vocalist. This is a harder version, too, which for some can mean better.
in the Neck
" is a painfully, incorrectly written song, and the only reason why this is mentioned is to expose the signature conflict that is behind "Anomaly
". Is this an Ace Frehley
record, a new Frehley's Comet
record, a solo record, old Ace
, new Ace
...the album gives no answer. For anyone who listens to it, the question that will invariably be asked when it is done is how does this album fit with anything else out there as well as within Ace Frehley
's own career. Perhaps that confustion is the intention all along. Perhaps, that is the Anomaly Ace Frehley
is referring to.