Ace Frehley, "Space Invader" (eOne)
With seven-plus years of sobriety under his belt, the original Kiss lead guitarist has recorded his best solo album since his groundbreaking self-titled album in 1978.
With walls of wailing guitars, droning feedback and snarling solos, Ace Frehley launches an old-school '70s-style hard-rock jam fest. It kicks off with him talk-singing his way through the title track, about a well-intentioned extraterrestrial who comes to save the Earth, and it includes a sudden tempo change for the guitar solo just like he did on "Snowblind" and "I'm in Need of Love" on his first solo record.
"Gimme A Feelin'" is a timeless rocker, with thick guitar chords, and "I Wanna Hold You" and "What Every Girl Wants" could be melodic hits.
On "Change" and "Inside the Vortex," Frehley showcases some impressive growth as a songwriter and arranger, with complex chord progressions and melody lines.
The only weak track is a vanilla remake of Steve Miller's "The Joker" that adds nothing to the plodding original, but apparently was too much for Frehley to resist with its "Space Cowboy" intro.