Friday, August 22, 2014

Album Review: Space Invader, by Ace Frehley

Lately former Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley has been talking big game about how his new album Space Invader is going to put the current line-up of Kiss to shame and show them and the whole world that he is not a big screw up any more and can blow any replacement of his off the stage. A couple of days ago Space Invader made its debut and is now available to the public. Does it live up to the boasting of its creator? We're going to talk about just that today.

I will say this, it does have Ace Frehley written all over it. The guitar playing is unmistakeably him. While that is a good thing, I do have a few nitpicks. The overall sound of the album is too over-produced for the style of music. A lot of it does sound like classic Kiss, but that's the problem. There is too much shine for what fans are used to. As far as I'm concerned, part of what made Kiss's sound back in their 70's heyday was the fact that to a certain extent it was raw and had a bit more warmth to it. Secondly, I know this is something that Ace can't exactly help but the age in his voice definitely shows through. You wouldn't know the vocals were him unless you knew who it was beforehand.

Gimme a Feeling was the first single put out from the album a couple months before its release. It starts out with a classic Ace guitar riff and solo that we have all heard him do many times, but I think it works. It's the song's way of saying, "Yeah, this is Ace motherf***ing Frehley up in this b****!". It is a mid tempo rocker does sound like something Kiss might have done back in the day. However, I think higher octave vocals like the kind Ace was able to do a long while back would have helped it a bit more. Other than that though, the guitar work is fantastic. It's flashy, it's ballsy, and it's Ace.

Ace did another cover for this album as well. This time around it was Steve Miller Band's The Joker. I was a little dumbfounded when I found this out, but I decided to give it a fair shot. It definitely sounds different from the original and is quite unique. I will give it this, while the vocals don't really astound me, to the song's and Ace's credit the blend of acoustic and electric guitars really does work. Ace really makes this classic his own and really makes it almost an entirely different song (though not in a bad way). However, I do kind of miss some of the whistling sounds that were in the original.

Space Invader is by no means a bad album, but if you want the God's honest truth from me none of the songs really stood out to me. There was no one particular track that really grabbed my attention and made me want to play it on repeat like some Kiss songs have in the past. In my opinion, I think Ace my have bragged about it a little too much. However, it is still worth finding online and listening to a couple times. There is some good guitar work. It's what you would expect from him. Maybe if he had toned down the production a bit things might have worked out a little better. I get the impression that maybe this is one of those albums you have to listen to a few times to really grasp it.

Space Invader, by Ace Frehley receives 3 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Space Invader
2. Gimme a Feeling (Radio Edit)
3. I Wanna Hold You
4. Change
5. Toys
6. Immortal Pleasures
7. Into the Vortex
8. What Every Girl Wants
9. Past the Milky Way
10. Reckless
11. The Joker
12. Starship
13. Space Invader (Radio Edit)
14. Gimme a Feeling

Buy the album on Amazon:

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