When an album takes nearly a decade to complete, the finished product should, by all rights, be incredible. After suffering through vocal cord problems and record company issues, Cinderella frontman, Tom Keifer, has proven the old adage that anything worth having is worth waiting for with the release of his solo album, The Way Life Goes.
There are enough Cindrella-esque moments on the record to appeal to lifelong fans, but this album features more than the traditional hard rock sound that has defined the band since the 80’s. With Keifer at the helm, Cinderella was always a talented, blues-based hard rock band, but their looks caused them to be unfairly lumped in, at times, with hair bands that focused on style over substance.
The Way Life Goes is all about substance, both musically and lyrically. It is a timeless rock and roll album that is just as much Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Rod Stewart as it is Cinderella. Keifer’s songwriting brilliance is showcased on this long-awaited 14-track album, as is his vocal range, which goes well beyond the signature sound that he created with Cinderella.
“The album is a raw, introspective look at the roller coaster ride that has been Keifer’s life for the past 15 years,” according to his website. “From being told that he would never sing again as a result of a partially paralyzed left vocal cord, to the emotional and personal battles that followed. His solo album is a story of perseverance…a testament to the power of passion and will, and a true love of music.”
The romantically poetic lyrics on the album show that Keifer’s love for his wife, Savannah, is as great as his love of music. The couple’s love is clearly exhibited in the songs that they wrote and performed together on the record. Savannah and the other female background vocalists add a layer to The Way Life Goes that is reminiscent of many classic Rolling Stones songs.
Some of the finest moments on the album were inspired by Keifer’s love for Savannah…
“Thick And Thin” is about truly being there for someone regardless of the situation. Keifer shows tremendous vocal range on the song, highlighted by a raspy sound that evokes classic Rod Stewart.
“You Showed Me” captures the feeling of finding love again after suffering through a painful heartbreak…“you showed me how to live again, helped me catch my breath, saved me from a bitter end.”
Keifer may have finally found happiness, but he definitely went through hell to get there. There is clearly no love lost for the woman (or women) that inspired some of the edgier songs – “Cold Day In Hell,” “It’s Not Enough” and “Ain’t That A Bitch.”
Lest anyone think that the past 15 years of Keifer’s life have only been about love and heartbreak; some of the most meaningful songs on the album are about the human condition and life in today’s society…
“A Different Light” is a country rock song that shows Keifer’s compassion for those whose life hasn’t turned out the way that they thought that it would. The lyrics are thought-provoking and moving, and Savannah’s vocals perfectly complement Keifer’s.
“Fool’s Paradise” is one of the more Cinderella-esque songs on the album, offering an insightful look into the instant-gratification, short-attention span world that we live in today.
The Way Life Goes is the kind of album that gets better each time that you listen to it. You don’t need to be a fan of hard rock music to appreciate this timeless rock and roll album, which has no “fillers” on it, despite the fact that it features 14 songs.
Check out the video for the single “Solid Ground” below to get a taste of what The Way Life Goes has to offer…