Anyone who had the pleasure of seeing Ace Frehley live at Festival Hall earlier this year saw why he is still one of the most important rock musicians in the world. Arguably most people on the night where there to see Gene but Ace put on a brilliant show that I went away from telling my friends that I totally loved. As a result I was teased with some of the new tracks from his new solo album Spaceman, and I have to say I liked what I heard… yeah I’ll admit I was pretty excited to be able to sit down and review this one.
What I wasn’t expecting was for Spaceman to be so autobiographical. While Ace is openly telling people that he didn’t mean for it to be this way it is obvious that he was reflecting on his life and career when he sat down to pen the lyrics for Spaceman.
Listening to the album feels like a journey through Ace’s life, what makes it even more special is the fact that he plays guitar on every track and even plays bass on all but two, that added to the very personal lyrics really makes the album feel like this is the heart and soul of Ace Frehley.
‘Bronx Boy’ has a dirty and in-your-face feel to it as Ace takes the listener back to a time when he was running with the Ducky Boys, lines like ‘we’re ready to rumble as night falls’ and ‘I don’t play with toys, don’t give me no bullshit’ show what life was like for him back in that time. Then there is ‘Pursuit Of Rock N Roll’ which sees him pay tribute to the artists that have inspired him over the years while venting ‘so tired of looking at reality TV’. Aren’t we all Ace?
The catchy as hell ‘Rocking With The Boys’ was actually written by Ace when he was one the road with KISS back in the 1970s, and it feels like it is destined to become a rock anthem, while Ace also pays respect to his former band mates with Gene Simmons making an appearance on bass on the brilliant ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ (on which Frehley gives ever guitarist a masterclass) and the smooth ‘Your Wish Is My Command.’
The cover of Eddie Money’s ‘I Wanna Go Back’ also seems to fit into Ace’s personal journey while one of the highlights of the album is the prog rock instrumental ‘Quantum Flux’ which is absolute stunner and is it literally fades to a grinding halt you are reminded just what a talented musician Ace Frehley is.
Spaceman is not an album where an old rocker tries to stay relevant, no this is very much the opposite. It is a rock legend showing why he is still very much ahead of the game and he shows the youngsters out there that THIS IS HOW YOU ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!!!