That’s right; Ace Frehley‘s last solo effort, Anomaly, deserves a revisit and is in my opinion (in need of) a little more love. It was like no one really gave it the recognition I thought it deserved. I didn’t have this blog then. I might have gone Postal on it. Maybe the only critics who reviewed it wanted metal. What they got was a well-rounded rock record with several well-played left turns by Frehley that may have thrown them off.
The fact is this album shows us Ace at his very best breaking new ground that shows a continued maturation, if intermittent, of the scope of his material. There are at least five, maybe six songs on Anomaly that I feel show how great Anomaly was and Ace. I don’t know how anyone, even if they had never heard Ace, could come away from it thinking anything other than that he is a crafty, fun songwriter, a bitchin’ guitarist and a really cool singer with his own sense of style on all fronts. Singular ….an Anomaly, on several levels. All it should have taken was one of the really great tunes from Anomaly for someone to shout out to the music world “Wow, this is really good shit!” but, when you are a former member of KISS, there are few pats on the back. That’s not conjecture, that’s KISStory. Hey, it’s not like (even) the old band mates are gonna put in a good word either, right? To prove the point, I present (via Youtube) “Change The World”, an evolved-Frehley masterstroke full of love with all kinds of here-to-fore unseen Spaceman influences coming into blurry view. It may the best song he has ever written, with “It’s A Great Life” and “A Little Below The Angels” and as close 2nd and 3rd. Ace mentioned the summer of love at the Rock Hall induction in April and this tune harkens back the youthful optimism of the hippy generation he was very much a product of. Maybe that’s why it possesses a reflective nature and sincerity seriously lacking in KISS in general. Sure, I love the classics, and it’s hard to beat “Rocket Ride”, but these are superior tunes by and large. And, yeah, you can’t beat the first solo record but, in a way, Anomaly betters it at several key moments that frankly eclipse all KISS-related recordings, all KISS forefathers included. As Ace suggests in “Pain In The Neck”…take a reality check — once you’ve added “Genghis Khan”, “Foxy & Free”, “Pain In The Neck” and the emotive continued Frehley reprise of “Fractured Quantum” to the mix, what you’ve got with Anomaly is a bit of a, hate to say it, monster record. I sure hope Ace knows how good Anomaly was and continues right where he left off with his forthcoming Space Invader.