Best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based Blues-Rock band Cinderella, TOM KEIFER is making his debut as a solo artist with the release of his long-awaited and highly-anticipated solo album, THE WAY LIFE GOES.
This is easy-listening, good time rock and roll at its very best, performed with great aplomb and a natural blues swagger from an artist whose maturity brings a huge richness and diversity to the tracks on this album.
Tom Keifer’s rich vocal tones are the absolute standout. To be expected of course, given this is after all his baby and his showpiece. It’s no surprise that opening track Solid Ground has been released as a single. It’s windows down, cruising on the road as the sun shines and the wind blows through your hair. It reminds me of Rod Stewart, Tom Petty and the likes. A tremendous way to kick off the album indeed before we then go to the commercial blues ballad notes of A Different Light that has less of the dirty rock and feels full of optimistic melody before It’s Not Enough rolls us into a dirty groove with a simple yet effective chorus.
One thing’s for certain with this album and that’s Keifer’s inherent ease of switching styles from song to song as he takes us from one swing of the blues spectrum to the other. The dirty acoustic-rock blues of Cold Day in Hell is mixed with gospel styled harmonies, background brass notes and topped off with a delicious harmonica that just makes you want to listen again and again. Thick and Thin and Ask Me Yesterday are like two sides of the one coin, both showing off Tom Keifer’s vocal range and musical talent with a soulful, melancholic grit.
At times the album is hugely uplifting, at times deep and thoughtful, at times Keifer is just looking to have a party.
Fools Paradise, kicks off the second half of the album with a vibe akin to Aerosmith’s Living on the Edge before we drop into some mellow blues with the second single, The Flower Song. It’s another perfect choice for a single and superbly radio friendly with a real sing-a-long feel to it, especially the chorus.
I swore to myself too that I wasn’t going to review this track by track by track but as you’ll see that’s been thrown out the window! I’m finding that every track I listen to I want to talk about what’s so good about it. Mood Elevator is probably my favourite on the album. For the simple reason that it just rocks out big time and has me tapping the toes and nodding the head along. Welcome to my Mind? Well for want of a better word or three it’s skanky, dirty and sleazy with a huge groove.
OK, I better at least leave some surprises for you lot on the album! Suffice to say though, the remaining tracks continue with that easy swagger and style that Tom Keifer has already shown that he can do with his eyes shut. This is indeed a superb collection of blues-infused rock.
The Way Life Goes is available now via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group).
1. Solid Ground
2. A Different Light
3. It’s Not Enough
4. Cold Day in Hell
5. Thick and Thin
6. Ask Me Yesterday
7. Fools Paradise
8. The Flower Song
9. Mood Elevator
10. Welcome to My Mind
11. You Showed Me
12. Ain’t That a Bitch
13. The Way Life Goes