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Ace Frehley ' 10,000 Volts ' Album Review & Details by The Metal Voice

Updated: Feb 15


Former Co-founder of Kiss guitarist and Grammy-nominated R&RHOF inductee Ace Frehley will release his 8th solo album '10,000' Volts (not including his two Frehley's Comet albums) on Feb 23, 2024. Produced by Ace and Steve Brown (Trixter).


By Jimmy Kay


Back in 1978, Ace delivered his self titled Kiss solo album debut. It reached platinum status and exploded as the highest-selling of the four Kiss solo albums in the Soundscan era. In 1987, he dropped Frehley’s Comet. Following 'Anomaly' in 2009. His 2014 'Space Invader' LP captured #9 on the Billboard 200 and emerged as “2016’s Origins Vol. 1, bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart and in the Top 5 of the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart. He notably maintained his momentum with 'Spaceman' 2018.


Stop. Let me make something clear. Ace has always been my favorite Kiss Member as I always loved his sense of melody, guitar tone and space man character. Am I bias? Let us continue.



So what type of Album do we get this time around with Ace? In terms of production Steve Brown (Trixter) and Ace have managed to deliver a bright big sound, not as compressed and digitized sounding as the hard rock/ metal sounds we are getting accustomed to in the 2000's. One thing is obvious that each song's vocal lines and phrasing have been worked on immensely. (maybe a bit of auto-tuning but it works) Accompanied by lots of big choruses and three part harmonies in the vein of a stripped down Beach Boys sound. I would think this is where Steve Brown injected some of his Trixter. Each song is short and sweet with a punchy chorus in styles of 'Into the night', 'Rock Soldiers', 'Talk to Me' or 'Words are not enough' from past solo albums, as a reference. This album is more about the songs than the heavy guitars. You are not getting Ace's 70's hard rock guitar driven music overall. But you are still getting in small does those traditional Ace's solos with the classic blues string bending and repetitive phrasing. As well more memorable riffs and each solo note counts. As for the lyrics, they are typical Ace. Street gangs, electricity, girls and space and yes borderline cheese but hey that's Ace.

Verdict: each song stands on its own and is very strong in terms of accessibility and commercial appeal. I also agree with Ace's statement as of late that this album beats out anything Paul and Gene have done solo wise. I don't think I have enjoyed an Ace album as much as this one since 1978. Maybe I'm bias?


Photo credit Jayme Thornton


Quick song recap

-10,000 Volts- Girls, electricity, super groovy and catchy. Ace at his best

- Walkin’ on the Moon- Quirky, mid paced melodic track.

- Cosmic Heart - Mid paced 80's Arena Rock song, Soul harmonies, Blazing guitar solos


- Cherry Medicine - Kiss Talk to me- ish. Lyric nod to Black leather (Shock me). 'You make me feel better when your in your black leather' . Three part harmonies, a bit of auto-tuning, summer time car, driving song. This could have been a TV jingle.

- Back Into My Arms Again -A let's make-up love song . Super catchy. Another summer 80's car driving song

- Fightin’ for Life - Up tempo, groovy hard rocking track, revisiting the Ace Gang years

- Blinded - Here Ace gets a little preachy, pointing out humans are blinded and losing control of their lives by emerging technology and the digital age. Nothing wrong with the topic just the lyrical delivery. Song is ok.

- Constantly Cute -Super cheesy song. I would have left this one off the album. Cringe lyrics

- Life of a Stranger - slow bluesy track. Tons of harmonies. Blues solo. This was written by FARES NADIA MINA MONIQUE, Nice change of pace.

- Up in the Sky - Aliens! This track could have been on Kiss 'Dynasty'. A time warp back to the guitar driven Ace of the late 70's early 80's with a modern vibe.

- Stratosphere - Another great multi- guitar instrumental by Ace which seems to be his trademark on his solo album. Solid production value.


Conclusion this is not a hard rock/metal album this one leans more towards Melodic Arena Rock 11 tracks, 9 of them All killer, two of them filler 8.6/10.


ACE FREHLEY - “10,000 VOLTS”

 

1 - “10,000 Volts”             

2 - “Walkin’ on the Moon”          

3 - “Cosmic Heart”

4 - “Cherry Medicine”

5 - “Back Into My Arms Again”   

6 - “Fightin’ for Life”       

7 - “Blinded”      

8 - “Constantly Cute”     

9 - “Life of a Stranger”   

10 - “Up in the Sky”        

11 - “Stratosphere”


Produced by Ace Frehley & Steve Brown

Mixed & mastered by Bruno Ravel

Engineered by Ace Frehley, Steve Brown, Anton Fig, David Julian, Alex Salzman

 

Recorded at:

Ace in the Hole Studios NJ

Mojo Vegas - 6160 NJ

Lionshead Studio – NY

Beatlab Buffalo – NY



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Album credits

1 - “10,000 Volts”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP), Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI) & David Julian, Kat Urb Music (ASCAP)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Anton Fig - Drums

Steve Brown - Guitar & Backing Vocals

David Julian - Guitar & Percussion

PJ Farley – Bass

 

2 - “Walkin’ on the Moon”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Steve Brown – Guitar ,Bass, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Jordan Cannata – Drums

 

3 - “Cosmic Heart”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP), Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI) & David Julian, Kat Urb Music (ASCAP)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Steve Brown - Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards & Backing Vocals

David Julian - Guitar, Synths & Percussion

Joey Cassata - Drums

Chris Lester – Bass

 

4 - “Cherry Medicine”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Anton Fig - Drums

Steve Brown - Guitar, Bass, Percussion & Backing Vocals

 

5 - “Back Into My Arms Again”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Arthur Stead

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Steve Brown - Guitar & Backing Vocals

David Julian - Keyboards, Guitar, & Percussion

Joey Cassata - Drums

PJ Farley – Bass

 

6 - “Fightin’ for Life”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Anton Fig - Drums

Steve Brown - Guitar, Bass, Percussion & Backing Vocals

  

7 - “Blinded”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Steve Brown - Guitar, Bass, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Joey Cassata – Drums

 

8 - “Constantly Cute” (Title by Lara Cove)

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Vocals & Guitar

Lara Cove - Backing Vocals

Steve Brown - Guitar, Bass, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Joey Cassata – Drums

 

9 - “Life of a Stranger”

Written by FARES NADIA MINA MONIQUE, WILDER MATTHEW (ASCAP), EUROPA CORP SA, UNIVERSAL MUSICA UNICA PUBLISHING (BMI), HALLELUJAH PRODUCTIONS INC, KOBALT SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING (ASCAP)

Ace Frehley - Vocals, Guitar & Bass

Steve Brown - Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Joey Cassata - Drums

Eric Ragno - B3 Organ, Mellotron & String Arrangement

 

10 - “Up in the Sky”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Vocals &Guitar

Steve Brown - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion & Backing Vocals

Matt Starr - Drums

Alex Salzman - additional percussion

 

11 - “Stratosphere”

Written by Ace Frehley, Smokin’ Guitar Music (ASCAP) & Steve Brown, Brownstone Music / Yell Music / Lillyjadebrown Music (BMI)

Ace Frehley - Guitars

Steve Brown - Guitar, Bass, Drums, Percussion & Keyboards


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