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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD Tom Keifer The Way Life Goes review

TOM KEIFER

THE WAY LIFE GOES

MAY 2013

 

CONDERELLA SOLO

 

Riding what some American’s unkindly refer to as ‘the heritage trail’ for many years now Tom’s band Cinderella only ever released four studio albums in 27 years: the last of them ‘Still Climbing’ a mere 19 years ago, so it might come as no surprise that it has taken Tom a while to pen his first solo album.
For those unfamiliar with them Cinderella was the band that injected the ‘big hair’ days of the late eighties with some much needed Stones and AC/DC at a time when neither was particularly fashionable. They were a band that stood apart and one of the bands I can still play today from the era and really enjoy. Their entire back catalogue is worth checking out.

 

 


I love the way this one starts, the guitar that opens ‘Solid Ground’ just feels right and when the vocals kick in and then those female backing vocals it feels great that Tom hasn’t strayed too far, and with a guitar line and vibe that reminds me of Rod Stewarts ’Every Picture Tells a Story’ it’s a great song and the best opener.

 

 


‘A Different Light’ that follows immediately after has that country twang mixed with a clean pop harmony, at first it’s a little confusing and a little grating, but it’s one of those songs you just warm to after repeated listens.

 

 


And that really is the story of the album it’s an album of contrasts, and album that reaches out to be something more than an obvious easy comparison to Cinderella and to be blunt at points like ‘Cold Day in Hell’ it works beautifully and at others like ‘It’s Not Enough’ it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong ‘It’s Not Enough’ has a nice female backing vocal refrain and some nice slide but it doesn’t have quite enough weight in the verses to elevate the quite quirky sonics to anything more than just interesting.

 

 

Thankfully this is also an album where the plusses far outweigh the negatives.

 

 


‘Thick and Thin’ is a gentler song that has Beatles-like qualities and though nice enough, just lacks something that ‘Ask Me Yesterday’ the similarly paced slow song that follows just has: whether it’s the more searching vocal or the country tinge it’s hard to say.

 

 


On an album that seems to grow on us with each listen, it’s songs like ‘The Flower Song’ which has that low-fi bluesy vibe, not a million miles away from Cinderella that work best. ‘Solid Ground’ though still has to be our favourite with the almost Aerosmith-like ‘Mood Elevator’ the noisiest track on here, coming in a close second. Honourable mentions go to the poppy ‘You Showed Me’; the funky ‘Ain’t That a Bitch’ and the brooding harp-infused title track which ticks all the boxes with its slow groove and Permanent Vacation-era Aerosmith vibe.

 

 


It’s a nice album in places, great in others, and I'm certan it's just the thing fans have been on the edge of their seats waiting 19 years for.

 

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

TOM KEIFER THE WAY LIFE GOES CD ALBUM REVIEW 2013