Ace Frehley

Anom­aly Deluxe

Classic Rock - - THE HARD STUFF REISSUES -

Truly, madly, Frehley. Anom­aly, Ace Frehley’s fifth solo al­bum, from 2009, en­cap­su­lates the orig­i­nal Kiss gui­tarist’s per­son­al­ity to a tee. Strip away all the flash-bombs, smokin’ gui­tars and well-doc­u­mented ad­dic­tions and you’ll find a ten­der soul; some­one who wears his heart on his sleeve – even if said sleeve is part of a cheap tin­foil space­suit.

The al­bum be­gins in fine style with the rau­cous Foxy & Free, the pace not let­ting up for sec­ond track Outer Space. The lumpen Pain In The Neck is a bit of a mis­step, and a ver­sion of Sweet’s Fox On The Run is as throw­away as they come, but the al­bum re­ally hits its groove (pun in­tended) with the sprawl­ing sixminute mini-epic Genghis Khan. (The mo­ment when Ace bel­lows ‘Genghis!’ never fails to bring a smile to the face.)

Talk­ing of which, Too Many Faces has hints of para­noia, Ace maybe re­call­ing his days in make-up with the words: ‘Too many faces in the mir­ror, look­ing back, look­ing back at me.’ Else­where, A Lit­tle Be­low The An­gels deals with Frehley’s bat­tle with al­co­holism and fea­tures a sweet cameo from his daugh­ter Monique, while It’s A Great Life (sub­ti­tled Don’t Let Gene Drag You Down) could per­haps be de­scribed as Ace’s very own My Way.

In ad­di­tion to the orig­i­nal al­bum, this re­mas­tered edi­tion in­cludes three bonus songs:

Hard For Me (pre­vi­ously un­re­leased), Pain In The Neck (pre­vi­ously un­re­leased slower ver­sion) and The Re­turn Of The Space Bear (first time on CD).

Aces high? You betcha.

Ge­off Bar­ton

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