It’s been over twenty years since former KISS member Ace Frehley released a studio album. That said, Anomaly is a welcomed effort to all fans of the original Spaceman. Although it’s a solo album, Anomaly keeps up the spirit of Frehley’s KISS days. He still alleges to be from outer space (as evident in the album’s second track, “Outer Space”). A few early-synth notes from the cosmos come into play here and there. And the music and lyrics are most definitely reminiscent of the late ‘70s (not so much KISS in the late ‘70s — just late ‘70s rock in-general).
The album kicks off with “Foxy & Free,” which almost sounds like it could be an illegitimate follow-up to the Jimi Hendrix song “Foxy Lady.” Out of the 13 tracks to be found on Anomaly, I would concur with a lot of other listeners out there and put my money on “Change The World” and “Sister” (first heard in ‘95 during a tour) two very fine tracks that should even encourage the most lukewarm Frehley fans to give this album a listen. Other tracks featured on Anomaly include “Space Bear” (yes, Ace really does have a thing for the stars), “Fractured Quantum,” and “A Little Below The Angels.” The latter track is about as close to a ballad as you’ll find here — the majority of Anomaly is all hard (‘70s) rock, baby.
Apparently, it has become a customary procedure for any recording artist to include at least one cover song on their latest album. In the case of Anomaly, the “guest track” is “Fox On The Run,” originally written and recorded by British rock group Sweet. Another seemingly mandatory feature these days is to gyp those of us who prefer real tangible CDs to digital downloads: Anomaly has a bonus track (entitled “The Return Of Space Bear” — doh!) that is only available via iTunes. As for we CD lovers, Anomaly comes in a nifty case that actually folds up into a pyramid (don’t worry, it comes with instructions).
OK, so yes, it took the guy two decades to launch his fourth solo album. But that doesn’t mean Ace Frehley hasn’t been busy: he rejoined his old colleagues from KISS twice on tour, did a few acting gigs, went on tour by himself, and spent a whole hell of a lot of time up in outer space. I don’t know of any other artists that can say the same. In short, Anomaly has been worth the wait.