CD Review: Tom Keifer “The Way Life Goes”

Tom Keifer
“The Way Life Goes”
Merovee Records
Produced by: Chuck Turner, Tom Keifer, Savannah Keifer
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Tom Keifer is probably best known for his work as lead singer of the popular 1980’s blues/rock band Cinderella who’s hit song “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” is still being played on countless classic rock stations around the world. “The Way Life Goes” is Keifer’s first release as a solo artist and features 14 hook heavy blues/rock tracks that showcase Keifer’s gritty yet melodic voice.

Very rarely do you see artists venture out on a solo career some 20 years after their initial success. What’s even rarer is when the artist is able to pull it off. Tom Keifer has done that and more with the release of “The Way Life Goes”. Tracks like “It’s Not Enough” and “Cold Day in Hell” do a great job setting the tone of the album as they snake back and forth with driving, upbeat instrumentation which captures and holds the listeners attention.

Tracks like “Ask Me Yesterday” and “You Showed Me” are more ballad like numbers featuring piano and acoustic guitars. The icing on the cake is Keifer’s vocals. For a guy who at one time was unable to sing due to a paralyzed left vocal cord you would never be able to tell listening to this record. From low to high Keifer shows great range and strength making “The Way Life Goes” an enjoyable listen. Whether you a fan of Cinderella in the bands glory days or you’re just looking to check out some new music that covers a lot of territory then this is the album for you.

Track Listing:
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
14.) Babylon


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Cinderella’s Tom Keifer talks about solo album “The Way Life Goes” and tour plans

Tom Keifer is best known as the charismatic front man for the popular 80’s rock band Cinderella. Tom still performs regularly with Cinderella who celebrated their 25 year anniversary in 2011. Tom’s newest project is a solo effort which has been in the making for quite some time. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Tom recently about working on the album and his upcoming tour plans.

Adam Lawton: What prompted you to decide that now was the time to release a solo album?
Tom Keifer: There never was a set time frame for me to do a solo album. I had first started thinking about doing one in the mid 90’s when Cinderella broke up for a bit. The album has been a work in progress for years. I started writing back then but never really recorded anything. I finally started recording in 2003. I did this independently as I didn’t want to deal with a label. From the time we actually started cutting tracks till now took almost 10 years. That was something I never intended. It is finished now and it’s a good window of opportunity because Cinderella decided to take a break from touring as we have toured hard the last 3 years. The timing worked out really well. Things just sort of happened as I didn’t have a plan 15 years ago that now would be the time to release this. (Laughs)

AL: With the album taking so long did you find yourself going back and making changes to some of the older material?
TK: It was a constant process. Once the songs were selected we would work on those and then go in and record a few more. Then we would go back and rework the older ones. There were quite a few periods of time where I wasn’t working on the record because of touring with Cinderella. Those breaks from the record were really great periods of objectivity. That’s not something you normally get. We made all of the Cinderella records in 6 month time frames where we worked 6 days a week. This album was much different because there was no label behind it. I could push save on Pro Tools and come back to it in a few months.

AL: Do you prefer working on an album like this that is more open ended as opposed to having that push to get it done by a certain time?
TK: I really like how this record came out and I left no stone unturned. I think everything came out real well. However I don’t think anyone is ever 100% happy with a record. There is always stuff you hear that bothers you. It was cool though to have the luxury of time but there are parts for me that I like more than others.

AL: Were the songs that made it on to the album more recent ideas or are they a collection of works from over time?
TK: Everything had been written prior to 2003. I picked about 14/15 tunes and usually from that point on I don’t write anymore for a record. I had a collection of songs dating back to the mid 90’s so there was a large body of work to choose from. I picked 14 that I thought were the best and fit together the best. I always seem to have a song somewhere. (Laughs)

AL: What led you to choose “The Flowering Song” as the album’s first single?
TK: It’s hard to pick singles sometimes because then you start thinking. (Laughs) For the first rock single that one was pretty unanimous between me and my wife who I co-wrote the song with. My friends and management all liked the feel of that track and eventually the label that picked up the album chose that song to be the first rock release. People really liked that track from first listen and we didn’t try to over think things.

AL: What are the tour plans for the release?
TK: We will be back out on the road starting in May. We will be working our way east after we hit the west coast. We are taking things one day at a time and how the record does will really dictate how long we are out for.