Been asked by many for my review of the new Ace Frehley album. I have been living with it for a while now and premiered the title track last night on my radio show. I have been hesitant to post a review because many will feel it will be bias because of my long time friendship with him. However anyone who TRULY follows me and what I do knows I give my honest view regardless of personal relationships on all things. So with that in mind here’s my take; this is a very solid hard rock album. Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it as good as the ’78 record? No, but in some ways pretty damn close. But it is not 1978 and Ace is not 30, and we haven’t had 35 years to live with this to see how it holds up. But it is an album better than many will expect and certainly delivers in many areas. It is pretty simple really. If you are an Ace fan, love his persona, attitude and playing, you will love the album. The album has a space theme running throughout. Maybe a statement of ownership from the original (and in my opinion only) spaceman? Production is solid. It sounds live, guitars loud, and it really jumps out at you (maybe at times a bit too much). Maybe the most amazing thing about the album is Ace’s voice. Obviously he was never Freddie Mercury, but in a Keith Richards sort of way he has an attitude and conviction in his voice that people love and more than makes up for any lack of range. People love when he sings and it clearly worked during the Kiss years with Shock Me, NY Groove and many others. Ace’s voice is strong and out front throughout. Really impressed how well he’s belting it out. And his playing is maybe better than it’s been in a very long time. My only complaint being that some songs fade on solos that I wish would stay up another 30 seconds or so. Always hated when my favorite albums and players have songs that fade while there is tasty guitar stuff happening. But everything has to end at some point I guess. As for the songs the best of them are the title track, the lead single “Gimme A Feelin” (best shot at real airplay as a single to me), “I Wanna Hold You” (another possible single), “Immortal Pleasures” (different vibe, great vocal and Ace singing about the good times.), “What Every Girl Wants” (another possible single), and “Past The Milky Way” (a classic space vibe that reminds me of something from the ’78 album, great solos, fades too soon though. Would love it to just keep going!). The space theme continues with the album closer, an instrumental titled “Starship” that does give a nod to Fractured Mirror and clocks in at around 8 minutes. Again some of Ace’s best soloing and guitar sounds in a very long time. The guy that influenced so many closing out with a sonic blend of guitars on top of guitars! The final thing heard is Ace asking if “anyone has seen George Jetson”, followed by his classic cackle! Again, classic Ace! The Steve Miller cover of  “The Joker” is fine but I would have liked to see him make it more his own. The tracks I didn’t mention are far from throw aways, but material wise I like the above tracks best. It really is a fine album that is best served listened to as a complete experience. And here is what’s really great about it. It truly has the classic Kiss vibe running through it naturally. While that band continues to try and make records that sound like classic Kiss by making two fine musicians in Tommy and Eric play like the people they have to portray, Ace IS classic Kiss. It’s the genuine artifact! The album drips with the spirit of classic Kiss and classic Ace from top to bottom naturally. It is all Ace knows. And if you are a fan that’s a damn good thing! Regardless of the attempts at times from the current Kiss to diminish his contributions, when you listen to Space Invader it becomes incredibly obvious just how much Ace meant to Kiss in his sound, playing and attitude. And this album proves he still has it in spades, or Ace’s… As Gene Simmons said himself during his R&R Hall Of Fame speech, Ace has often been imitated but never duplicated. Now there’s something I can truly say I agree with from Gene! Again, if you are/were a Kiss/Ace fan, nothing not to love here. Clearly Ace’s years of sobriety have reinvigorated him to create an album far better than anyone might have expected at this point in his career. And Space Invader is sonic proof just how vital he truly was (as was Peter) to the sound and concept of Kiss. Welcome back to the one and only Space Ace!

PS: There is a deluxe version of the album with two bonus tracks. But those tracks are only radio edits of two songs on the album. So unless you are super hardcore or want the digipak and poster the regular version has essentially the same material.

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

198 Responses

Leave us a comment

  • Steve Joslyn on

    Bought the album today after i heard a rip on it listening to sirius radio ( he said that only he and ace where going to buy it). So lets get to it…You dont buy Ace for his vocals. He does have his own style and it fits tho. I am not some crazy fan but i have to say this really is what i wanted to hear from Ace. Just go and play the whole damn album. Dont sample it. Play it like an old record and LISTEN to it. Forget corny lyrics here and there. What do you expect anyways? Guitars. Layered. Energetic and melodic with a riff here and there. I really liked it so thank you Ace for keepin it going at 63. This was so good I’ll buy the next album too.

  • Tom on

    Picked mine up tonight and all i can say is… incredible. I didn’t believe he had this kind of material left in him. I’ve listened to this album all day. I haven’t done that with a new record in 25 years. When “Past the Milky Way” was first played, I had goose bumps on my arms. His vocals and guitar riffs were just the epitome of classic rock. I love the fact Ace has half the image of his spaceman makeup on his tie on the inside sleeve. It’s only half so I’m sure he can’t be sued. Nice touch Ace! It’s a remarkable album. I hope it sells. It deserves so much more success than anything KISS has released in at least 20 years.

  • RTunes68 on

    I think Ed’s comparison of Ace to Keith Richards is spot-on. Neither one of them is the greatest singer or guitarist (in a technical sense), but how many other musicians can you identify instantly? Aside from his classic ’78 solo album, this is the most consistently strong album of his career. Of course, the irony is that any one of the songs on this album would fit seamlessly in Sonic Boom or Monster…(but that train has long left the station)…

  • Sal A. on

    As today is the day after ” Ace Day ” ( yesterday being Space Invader’s official release day ), I agree with Eddie on most of his comments, but – believe it or not – Ace’s voice sounds better now than in ’78. On his first album his voice was very course and rough – on Space Invader it sounds smoother. But I love the CD – if anything I did not expect it to be this good ! Every tune has a hook that makes you want to here it again and again, a combination of Pop/Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, ( like Sweet and Slade – the KISS influence ), and then there is the Ace Frehley Guitar Leads – that – to me – are the BEST. He is certainly the one who made us all as kids want to have a Les Paul, with his leads on those KISS albums. This album has been described as ” The Kiss album that wasn’t a Kiss album “, as it has that early Kiss formula, that does not exist on Sonic Boom and Monster. I would be very curious as to the reactions of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons – I’m sure it will hit a nerve with them. But – as I met Ace at Sam Ash yesterday for my autographed CD – he looks in great spirits ! He is on top of his game, and the fans are there for him. The CD is #1 on the ITunes Hard Rock Category – a first for Ace ! Looking forward to a tour this fall !!

  • Private Jones on

    Nice review Eddie, I agree with you. I too think his vocals are a cut above, and his playing was stellar Ace Frehley. Sonically ( my producer ears), I wish there was more bass separation, as I think I liked the songs with extra dynamics in the mix. No one’s mentioned this, but I’m interested in the lyrical subject matter of the title track. Did Ace write this as a character, or is this something that he believes in (spiritually)?
    I’m going to re listen to 78 today, but as of today, I’d say this is my favorite Ace album, song for song. Finally, it does sadly scream how much KISS is sorely missing Ace Frehley… or should be.

Leave a Reply