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Ace Frehley - Space Invader Award winner

Ace Frehley
Space Invader
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 August 2014, 8:58 PM

ACE FREHLEY has had a long and fruitful solo career following his ousting from the legendary Hard Rock band KISS.  His first solo album while he was still in the band showcased his incredible and diverse abilities as an independent songwriter.  Indeed, most KISS fans that I know regard his solo album as the best of this four.  I would go so far as to say that this first solo album is as good as any album he made with KISS, maybe better.  He didn’t release his next solo album for nearly ten years after this, though he had been writing that entire time.  With ACE it always seemed like he was best when he took his time, even if that meant long stretches of time between releases.  Following “Frehley’s Comet” in 1987, ACE released four more solo albums, the latest in 2009.  ACE’s legacy in the world of Rock and Roll simply places him as one of the best guitarists of all-time, and certainly one of the most influential in terms of a composer and performer.  On a personal note, ACE has always been my favorite member of KISS, and perhaps my favorite musician ever.  He is what inspired me to pick up the guitar, and delve into the world of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that followed.  It is an honor to be doing this review.

“Space Invader” opens the album, in grand ACE FREHLEY style.  If you can’t recognize those riffs and wah-wah laden solo as uniquely his, you don’t know what you are listening to.  Though he isn’t known for his technical prowess as a singer, I simply love the quality and tone of his voice.  “Gimmie a Feeling” is a raucous blues based number, with that classic pentatonic riff pattern.  It just feels good to listen to it.  “I Wanna Hold You” really has an upbeat, old school KISS feeling to it.  I love the harmony parts in the verses, and the underscored statement in the chorus.  A lot of ACE’s lyrics are centered around women, and this album is no exception.  “Change” goes introspective, with a slower pace and more bombastic accentuations, and a message…”Pick yourself up and change.”  “Toys” has a running, swinging riff that reminds me of something from the “Dressed to Kill” album.  His note selection has always been just spot on when it comes to a melody line, and this song is no exception.  The lead breaks and squeals are just perfectly timed and right in key.  “Immortal Pleasures” is an acoustic laden song with a memorable melody line that I enjoy singing along with, while “Inside the Vortex” syncs along with the theme of the album.

“What Every Girls Wants” takes me back to the glory days of KISS.  This could have been a song ACE wrote for the “Love Gun” album, and is my favorite track here on “Space Invaders.”  Good music does not need to be over thought and over processed.  This is something that has always been the case with ACE FREHLEY.  “Past the Milky Way” is another strong track with an easy listening hook and message, where ACE’s voice takes center stage, along with a building, winding Spaceman guitar solo.  Switching gears again is another introspective but bouncing number called “Reckless” where ACE details some of the early struggles he faced in his life.  As an homage to THE STEVE MILLER BAND, ACE does an absolutely splendid cover of “The Joker,” never straying too far from the original song, but adding just enough of himself to the overall style.  Closing the album in theme style is the song “Starship.”  I love that even after all this time, ACE is still the quintessential Spaceman.  This song is a jovial and joyful instrumental tune that just has you tapping your foot the entire time.  “Fun” is the way I would describe the album in one word.  ACE has always had knack for just writing music that you enjoy listening to, and makes you feel good.  His songwriting has never slowed down over the years, and it is clear that he still has a lot to offer the rest of the music world.  There is a nice mix of slower, mid-tempo, and more aggressive pacing to the songs, and a decent amount of variety to enjoy.


4 Star Rating

1. Space Invader
2. Gimmie a Feeling
3. I Wanna Hold You
4. Change
5. Toys
6. Immortal Pleasures
7. Inside the Vortex
8. What Every Girl Wants
9. Past the Milky Way
10. Reckless
11. The Joker
12. Starship
Ace Frehley - All Instrumentation, Vocals
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records


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Edited 04 October 2022

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