Label: Merovee Records
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Reviewed by: Todd "ToddStar" Jolicoeur
Some rockers need to bow out gracefully from recording new material and others should keep the new music coming. The first solo disc from Tom Keifer falls into the latter category. "Solid Ground" opens the disc in true rock fashion. The bluesy rocker kicks in with some cool guitar and soon the bass and drums add their punch to the track. What really jumps from the speakers is the energy and familiarity of Tom's voice. "A Different Light" has a different feel for Tom, but it isn't a stretch. The song shows off his softer side and allows him to flex his writing muscles a little. The track demonstrates the range of his voice, not only from a musical standpoint, but emotional as well. "It's Not Enough" has a different feel to it, but still maintains the rock groove. The slide guitar on this track is cool, as are the leads and various riffs. This is a great guitar track that also has a great vocal line to it. "Cold Day In Hell" is all blues and just a killer track from the opening notes. The guitars are simple and precise, but perfect. The chorus is packed with rock goodness and the verses are planted solid in the rock vein. "Thick And Thin" is a beautiful ballad that really let's Tom flex his vocal chords. The song has a cool gritty sound that ties nicely to the vocals. For the guitar guys, listen closely for some great riffs and noodling under the bigger sounds. This is one of the better mellow tracks Tom has been associated with. "Ask Me Yesterday" keeps the mellow vibe in place and helps showcase the softer side of Tom's writing. This has to be one of the better one-two ballad punches I have heard on a disc in a long time. The songs guitar work is great, but the way it is paired up with other strings adds another dimension to the track. "Fools Paradise" is a heavier rocker that features the voice that fueled so many other blues tracks. The smoldering guitar licks underneath give this track a cool sound, especially when the lead riff kicks in. The song has a great feel to it that should come across as a mood changer live.
"The Flower Song" takes us back to a mellower groove, but the guitars give this a country-rock vibe that comes from Tom's residency and writing in Nashville. The vocals are as emotive as the guitar on this song. The different textures in the track make this stand out, even with its softer side. "Mood Elevator" comes storming out of the gate and doesn't look back. The energy on this track hasn't been matched yet here. This is a great rocker that really mirrors the sound tom started with back in the mid-80's. The guitar work is cool and song has a killer beat that prompts some foot tapping and head banging. "Welcome To My Mind" has a totally different sound than most of the other tracks here when it kicks off, but it soon meshes well with the rest of the disc. The sound is different, but the voice and mood is all Tom Keifer. The trippy sound helps tell the story along with the lyrics and vocals. This is one of my favorites due to its unique sound. "You Showed Me" slows the pace back down and let's us enjoy the richness of Tom's voice and an accompanying piano through the first verse. The rest of the instruments kick in make this a well-rounded song and another personal favorite. "Ain't That A Bitch" is a ballsy blues rocker that I loved the first time I heard it. The guitar solos are perfectly matched to the track, as is the use of organ and the drums. The organ on this track lifts the song to another level, along with Tom's vocals. "The Way Life Goes" closes the disc and it does so in great fashion. The song has a different groove that is evident not only in the music, but in Tom's muted vocals on the verses. The chorus is cool as hell when the harmonica and guitar kick in and add even more energy to the track. The only bad thing about this track is the fact that it is the last one on the disc.