Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alice Cooper's Welcome 2 My Nightmare review

 Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Alice Cooper
Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Rating: ****

36 years after its release, Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare finally has an official sequel to it. The album, titled Welcome 2 My Nightmare, is Cooper's 19th solo studio album and his 26th studio release overall (including the seven album he made with the original Alice Cooper band). Cooper, 63, made this new album with producer Bob Ezrin, who produced the original album (as well as many other albums made by Cooper) in 1975. This is Alice's first album in three years since 2008's Along Came A Spider.

There are 14 songs on the album, opposed to the 11 on the original 1975 album. The opener, "I Am Made Of You", is pretty good. It's a pretty creepy track, which is great. The song opens with the piano piece from "Steven", off the original album. The only problem I have with this song is that Alice is using Auto-Tune, a technology that modern day artists have learn to overuse. "Caffeine" is a nice little rocker. There's some great guitar playing here and it's a bit like an old school Alice Cooper song. "The Nightmare" is a nice short song which is followed up by an electric country rocker, "A Runaway Train". It does sound like an old Woody Guthrie song with loud electric guitars overlapping the sounds of a train. Country musician Vince Gill guests on this song playing the guitar solo. "Last Man On Earth" seems to be an attempt at making something like "Some Folks" off the original album. Instead, this song sounds like slow-tempo big band-like track with a hint of vaudeville. Alice has always been a showman and his live shows could be considered a form of vaudeville (heck even Groucho Marx once said Alice was the last hope for vaudeville). I didn't like it much before but I think it's typical Alice being experimental. Believe it or not, Alice has made a few experimental albums and songs. This might be one and I like it.

"The Congregation" is a great song with a bouncy sounding chorus. Alice's buddy Rob Zombie makes a guest appearance on this song as "The Guide". Next up is the Stones-eque rocker "I'll Bite Your Face Off". It's a really catchy number and it was a very wise choice to pick this as the single. There are other great rockers like "Ghouls Gone Wild" ,"When Hell Comes Home", and "I Gotta Get Out of Here". There's even a ballad "Something to Remember Me By", which Alice co-wrote with Dick Wagner. Alice and Dick wrote a string of hit ballads back in 1970’s such as "Only Women Bleed", "I Never Cry", and "You And Me". "Something To Remember Me By" may not rank up there but it's a good song. As much as I love the title, "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" isn't that good as the song once again relies on Auto-Tune. "What Baby Wants" also uses Auto-Tune and to make things worse, Alice is singing this song with Ke$ha. Don't get me wrong: Ke$ha probably has a good voice but almost everything she's singing here is Auto-Tuned. Luckily, the album ends fantastically with "The Underture" which is an instrumental collection of songs from the original album. 

Overall, Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a fine album. It's not terrible. It's certainly not as good as Welcome To My Nightmare but there was no way Alice could top a classic album like that. I forgot to mention that most of these songs feature the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band, which is cool to see. Personally, I prefer Alice's last album Along Came a Spider much better but hey, this is decent album. It's worth a listen.

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