Album review: Ace Frehley – Space Invader

Withy walls of wailing guitars and snarling solos, Ace Frehley launches an old-school 1970s-style hard-rock jam-fest.

Space Invader by Ace Frehley. Courtesy eOne / AP Photo
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Ace Frehley

Space Invader (eOne)

Four stars

With seven-plus years of sobriety under his belt, the original lead guitarist with the rock band Kiss has recorded his best solo album since his groundbreaking self-­titled LP in 1978. With walls of wailing guitars, droning feedback and snarling solos, Ace Frehley launches an old-school 1970s-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.