Alice Cooper Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Universal Music Enterprises
Released September 12, 2011 UK: CD | MP3
September 13, 2011 U.S.: CD | MP3
After the disbandment of the Alice Cooper band, its frontman went solo and in 1975 released his first album: Welcome To My Nightmare. 36 years later Alice Cooper has released its follow-up, Welcome 2 My Nightmare. And you thought Chinese Democracy took a long time to make.
Ok, ok, so itâ€™s not the same thing. Alice has released 17 albums in between (not including the many live albums and countless best ofâ€™s) and been constantly busy. His albums have ranged from the brilliant (Hey Stoopid) to boring (Dragontown). Those who were disappointed with 2008â€™s Along Came A Spider will be delighted with this return to gruesome form.
As with most of Aliceâ€™s past albums, much of this is playful in a twisted way. The one-two of the beautiful â€œSomething To Remember Me Byâ€ followed by a tale of grizzly revenge in â€œWhen Hell Comes Homeâ€ is sure to raise an evil smile.
â€œA Runaway Trainâ€ is a good olâ€™ rock nâ€™ roll stomp-along featuring some breathtaking lead guitar work from guest star Vince Gill. Sneering â€œLast Man On Earthâ€ sounds like a cross between a country hoe down and a burlesque cabaret act — perfect, as it goes, for Al. And â€œCaffeineâ€ is pure peanut butter body smearing era Stooges — full of energy and snarling and…GRRR! Yeah!
The guitar work of Keith Nelson, Michael Bruce, and Steve Hunter are inspired on each track they play. They bring a classic sound with a fresh heaviness and the solos on Welcome 2 My Nightmare — with guest spots by Gill and John 5 — are stunningly good. A fantastic decision by Alice and producer Bob Ezrin to bring them in.
Amongst the very good is a small smattering of pretty bad. The absolutely awful yet somehow hilarious â€œDisco Bloodbath Boogie Feverâ€ is a disco track. Of course it is an Alice take on the once popular sub-genre of dance music and no disco track has ever, ever had a guitar solo like this that could rip disco balls open at 50 paces. â€œWhat Baby Wantsâ€ reminds me of Michael Jacksonâ€™s â€œBeat Itâ€ and features vocals by some chick called Ke$ha. I donâ€™t want to hear this from AlicÂ£ again.
There are a great number of bands who owe a huge debt to Alice Cooper. Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson the most recently famous and successful who have followed in Aliceâ€™s bloody footprints and in a nice show of solidarity of the macabre, Rob Zombie, John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie), and Piggy D (Rob Zombie, Wednesday 13) all feature on the album.
It may be 35 years between nightmares, but it feels like barely a night terror has passed. It is not by any means Alice Cooperâ€™s greatest album, but the good tracks on Welcome 2 My Nightmare are very good and ensures that it is among his best works.