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.
Like 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:
The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars