Building off a creative surge that started with 2009's Anomaly and the 2011 autobiography No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir, Ace Frehley returns with solo album number eight, a nine-track pick slide of a record that looks to the past, specifically his 1978 solo debut, without feeling mired in sweaty desperation. Of all the members of Kiss, Frehley has always felt the most relatable, and his goofy charm and Bronx-born swagger help to crystallize the unapologetically nostalgia-driven Spaceman into something more than just a ham-fisted cruise down memory lane. There was always an affable blue-collar dude beneath the greasepaint and platformed boot-bolstered persona of Space Ace, and that workmanlike authenticity shines through on standout cuts like "Bronx Boy," "Your Wish Is My Command" (featuring bass from Kiss bandmate Gene Simmons, who also played bass -- and nabbed a co-writing credit -- on the opener, "Without You I'm Nothing"), and "Rockin' with the Boys," the latter of which was conceived during Kiss' '70s heyday. There's nothing as immediate or as deliriously confectionary as "New York Groove" on Spaceman, but a surprisingly revved-up rendering of Eddie Money's "I Wanna Go Back" proves that Frehley hasn't lost his love for riff-chugging power pop, and a protracted space jam closer, "Quantum Flux," puts to rest any notion that his six-string skills have dwindled in the wake of decades spent rocking & rolling all night and partying every day. ~ James Christopher Monger
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock and Pop
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Meta Artist: Frehley, Ace