Album review: TOM KEIFER – The Way Life Goes

Tom Kiefer - The Way Life Goes

Merovee Records [Release date 29.04.13]

For me, Cinderella always stood head and shoulders above the general hair metal bands that they would unfairly be lumped in with. With grittier songs, real feeling subject material and a more mature outlook the band released four studio albums that went on to sell over fifteen million copies.

Splitting up in 1995 and consequently reforming in 1997, alleged legal wrangles has meant that new material has not been forthcoming from the band  and so we now come to front man Tom Keifer’s long awaited debut solo album “The Way Life Goes”.

Having worked on the album since 2003, this is Keifer’s first new material since Cinderella released “Still Climbing” in 1994. The songs are top quality and unmistakably Tom Keifer, albeit with healthy influences of Aerosmith, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones, and considering the issues he has had with his voice over the last few years, the vocals sound great.

Opening track, and current single, “Solid Ground” is unsurprisingly Cinderella like and the album balances ballads and upbeat tracks nicely. The Stones like “Cold Day In Hell” is hands down one of the best things I have heard this year whilst ode to Prozac “Mood Elevator” is everything that Aerosmith couldn’t get away with these days.

That Stonesy feel appears again on “Ain’t That A Bitch”- a funkier track with added stabs of Hammond B3- and “Babylon”. “You Showed Me” is a raw, bluesy piano led ballad in the tradition of Aerosmith and the album’s title track “The Way Life Goes” also has a nice bluesy feel to it. Aerosmith influences are also evident on “A Different Light” and “Fools Paradise” whilst echoes of Rod Stewart can be heard on the piano heavy “”Thick and Thin” and The Faces’ feeling “The Flower Song”.

There is a heavier, fresh feel to “Welcome To My Mind”, the very catchy “It’s Not Enough” is pure and simple Cinderella for the 21st Century and “Ask Me Yesterday” is more a country love song than a ballad.

“The Way Life Goes” is one hell of an album and by far my favourite release of the year so far- combining country, blues and rock it could be Keifer’s very own “Exile on Main Street”. All we need now are some European tour dates …  *****

Nikk Gunns

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