Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tom Keifer - The Way Life Goes (2013)

The frontman from one of the '80s best (and underappreciated) "hair bands," Cinderella, finally released a solo record last year. This is, as far as I can tell, Tom Keifer's first release of new songs since the band last released an album in 1994; this gulf is partly because Keifer's voice has finally recovered after years of issues with his vocal chords.  

History:  Cinderella passed the "eye test" as a hair band, but their music was far more a blues-rock effort than their peers in the genre.  I saw him on That Metal Show with a guitar, no band, and figured this album would be a blues-y, folk-y, one-man-acoustical-jam-with-occasional-screaming, introspective comeback.


It's a full-on rocker from the get-go -- think Cinderella 2.0.  The first track, "Solid Ground," makes it clear immediately that this is a two guitar, bass, keyboard, and drum attack.  Despite his past vocal issues, Keifer can still hit the high notes, although the lower range shows some signs of wear and tear.

Tom Keifer - "Solid Ground"

Other highlights:  "It's Not Enough" grooves, shimmies, and shines through a blues wave.  "Cold Day in Hell," "Fool's Paradise," "Babylon," and "Mood Elevator" are all plus tunes.  In all honesty, there isn't a dud on the album.

It's an easy listen, but holds enough edge and challenge to ensure you'll be back for more.  I'm not the first to say it, but that don't mean it ain't the truth:  this may be the best album of his career. (Which is saying something, I know.) Whether you are jumping back on board or getting on the train for the first time, this is definitely worth listening to.

CD Placement rating:  Car iPod

- Snilch

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