Rating:
8.4
Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare
9 September 2011


01. I Am Made Of You
02. Caffeine
03. The Nightmare Returns
04. A Runaway Train
05. Last Man On Earth
06. The Congregation
07. I'll Bite Your Face Off
08. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
09. Ghouls Gone Wild
10. Something To Remember Me By
11. When Hell Comes Home
12. What Baby Wants [feat. Ke$ha]
13. I Gotta Get Outta Here
14. The Underture


I often get the feeling that people don't fully understand Alice Cooper. Since his career has spanned 45 years and 26 albums thus far, it is hard to fully grasp how many genres Alice has covered, how many scenes he has been a part of, and just how much he is willing to experiment musically. Welcome 2 My Nightmare, a sequel to his first solo album, 1975's Welcome To My Nightmare (as you might have guessed), is something of a watershed album for Alice, as it hosts not only a reunion of the original Alice Cooper band but some of his most eccentric works to date.

Original members Michael Bruce, Neal Smith, and Dennis Dunaway rejoin Alice for three tracks: the lively "A Runaway Train," the menacing "When Hell Comes Home," and the album's first single, "I'll Bite Your Face Off." Legendary guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, who collaborated on a number of Alice's albums (including the original Welcome To My Nightmare and Billion Dollar Babies), also make appearances, as do fellow alumnus Kip Winger, country star Vince Gill, Rob Zombie, John 5, and the most controversial of all, pop star Ke$ha. The large contingent of backing musicians nurtures the sporadic nature of this album, contributing a variety of different sounds and styles. "Caffeine" and "I'll Bite Your Face Off" are both rather straightforward rock songs, but still sound very different from each other. "The Congregation," featuring guest vocals from Rob Zombie, is a slick, poppy, Beatles-influenced song, and "Ghouls Gone Wild" could easily be a Beach Boys cover. "The Last Man On Earth" embodies everything that is great about Alice Cooper, and many things that are great about Tom Waits.

For a while, I overlooked how excellent this album is solely because of two songs: "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" and "What Baby Wants." "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever," while meant to be a comical song that parodies and then kills disco, is still a little painful to listen to; after all, hearing Alice Cooper spouting slang over some kind of dance-pop tune that you might hear on a Top 40 station is pretty unusual. "What Baby Wants" features guest vocals from pop singer Ke$ha, and has grown on me. If you are familiar with Ke$ha at all, you may need to erase your prior knowledge to enjoy this song; as Alice himself predicted, she works much better in a rock context than a pop context. Of course, not everyone can stomach it, so skipping these two might better the experience.

This is a true Alice Cooper album; it is full of tongue-in-cheek humor and playful villainy. Its style is an incredibly eclectic one, and you might have to make a lot of allowances to enjoy it. Keep in mind that Alice has been around since the 1960s, and he has seen it all; he has witnessed all kinds of musical trends arise and disappear. Time and time again, he has proven that he can adapt to them without being swallowed by them, and this is another great example.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Alice Cooper
Album: Welcome 2 My Nightmare


 


written by ScreamingSteelUS | 17.08.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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R Lewis - 27.10.2013 at 15:23  
Great album and really well-done review.
Btw: I just can't stop listening to "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever". Probably my favourite of the album along with "Last Man On Earth".
ScreamingSteelUS - 27.10.2013 at 21:37  
Thanks! But I'm afraid I still haven't reached the point where I can listen to it comfortably.

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