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Friday, December 06 2013 01:20

Review - TOM KEIFER - THE WAY LIFE GOES

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61J-1gzXLnL. AA125 Though it was released back in April, I've only recently started spinning THE WAY LIFE GOES, the long-awaited solo album from CINDERELLA frontman TOM KEIFER, here at Rock Father HQ. My earliest memories of Keifer's work in CINDERELLA were shaped in large part thanks to MTV and the local carnivals, where bands like his could be heard alongside BON JOVI, POISON, SLAUGHTER and many others of the era, blasting from the Flying Bob's or the game section, where crowds of black-shirted teens would try their hand at winning a wood-framed mirror bearing the logo of their favorite band. CINDERELLA's NIGHT SONGS was released just two months prior to my 10th birthday, and I missed out on seeing the entire "glam era" live and in-concert, and my album collection was being dominated by HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS and BOBBY BROWN records, along with the soundtracks to SPACEBALLS and POLICE ACADEMY 4: CITIZENS ON PATROL. By the time I'd really become aware of CINDERELLA and moved into full-on rock mode (High School), the band was nearing it's first end. Fast-forward nearly two decades, CINDERELLA has reunited and hit the road a few times, and now, here I sit listening to the debut solo album from "the voice of CINDERELLA." And it's good.

keiferampLike most good rock stars, Keifer has endured some real ups-and-downs over the years, the most notable of which involved repeated problems with his vocal chords, eventually requiring surgery and rehabilitation. As the title indicates, that's THE WAY LIFE GOES, and in Keifer's case, it's helped to shape a record that time likely improved. While works nearly a decade-in-the-making can have mixed results (glancing over to CHINESE DEMOCRACY on the shelf), Tom has delivered an album (co-produced by his wife) that manages to play remarkably solid from front-to-back, with no lulls among it's 14-tracks.

The Nashville-recorded, blues-infused set rocks hard at times ("Babylon," "Mood Elevator," "Solid Ground"), hinting at previous works with a couple entries into ballad territory ("Thick and Thin," "Ask Me Yesterday"),  and enters some new realms with tracks like "The Flower Song," which I can only call... cute.

THE WAY LIFE GOES is available now from my affiliates, iTunes and Amazon:

4

The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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