Ed Kowalczyk - Alive
Initially seducing you with its retro rock charms before ultimately disappointing you, the debut solo album from former Live front man Ed Kowalcyzk will undoubtedly be welcomed by his fans but not many others. It's not all bad though and there is plenty of fun to be had with the hard riffs and refreshing simplicity of classic rock tracks like lead single 'Grace' and opener 'Drive' but, while Kowalcyzk is too good of a musician to let the music become derivative, Alive just doesn't leave enough of a lasting impression. It doesn't help that there are some true clunkers on display: 'Zion' is just awful, a monotone attempt at a soaring ballad, and 'Soul Whispers' is painfully dull even once it kicks into life after an acoustic opening. You would hope that the album title doesn't become an ironic comment on Ed Kowalcyzk's solo career but unless his second attempt manages to leave a bigger impression, it might well turn out to be the case.