Alice Cooper is a name that can still strike fear into the hearts of a certain generation. He is nothing short of a musical icon and had established himself as a milestone in the history of rock n’ roll long before he was inducted into the always controversial Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Paving the way for the likes of KISS, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, Alice continues to inspire legions of up-and-coming rockers year after year — something that would surely make someone even as sinister as Alice smile!
When I heard that this rock legend had set out to record a sequel to one of his most successful and enduring albums, ‘Welcome To My Nightmare,’ I had to admit I was intrigued, if not a little bit skeptical. The new album for the first time in decades, reunites the original Alice Cooper band members Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Micheal Bruce for three tracks. Guitarist Steve Hunter, who is part of Alice’s current touring band and featured prominently on the first ‘Nightmare’ album, is also along for the ride. As a fan of classic rock, musical reunions are always a treat and you always hope that some of that original spark shows itself in new material. In that regard, the new material does not disappoint. Alice Cooper even went as far as recruiting producer Bob Ezrin to helm the project, just as he did on the original. For this album, there certainly seemed to be a true effort put forward to recreate the original vibe but at the same time, not blandly rehash the band’s original efforts.
Although Cooper’s 2008 release, ‘Along Came A Spider’, was a satisfyingly powerful record that featured some great material, but ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ is truly a return to form for the artist. To me it seems that he took a look back at his entire catalog and said “Ok, here is what worked. Let’s bring that formula into the future.” In my opinion, he couldn’t have hit the nail more on the head.
Standout tracks on the album include: “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” which is best described as a homage to the Rolling Stones, “A Runaway Train,” a country infused jam that features an unlikely guitar solo by country superstar Vince Gill; the catchy “Caffeine” that seems destined to be one of the songs that gets stuck in your head for days on end even brings in some new blood on “What Baby Wants” where he enlists the talents of pop star Ke$ha with very pleasing results.
The album’s strong suit is that it features a huge range of styles, from punk, to pop, to country, to disco, yes… DISCO! That being said, have no fear that the this album, from start to finish, is all “rock n’ roll” — Let’s face it, that is what flows through the veins of a rock legend like Alice Cooper! Is ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ a perfect album? No. But I think Alice Cooper would be the first to admit that it is his flaws that have made him the artist he is today and has intrigued generations. — Jason Price
Rating: 4 out of 5
1. I Am Made Of You
3. The Nightmare Returns
4. A Runaway Train
5. Last Man On Earth
6. The Congregation
7. I’ll Bite Your Face Off
8. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
9. Ghouls Gone Wild
10. Something To Remember Me By
11. When Hell Comes Home
12. What Baby Wants
13. I Gotta Get Outta Here
14. The Underture