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Cooper, Alice: Welcome 2 My Nightmare

It's been 36 years, but Alice Cooper and producer Bob Ezrin are back with the sequel to the classic Welcome to My Nightmare. Once again, Alice is trapped within his own mind, as Welcome 2 My Nightmare picks up storywise right where the original left off. Joining the fun to make it all happen are original Alice Cooper members Denis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith (reunited on 3 tracks); global pop superstar Ke$ha,and legendary Alice and Lou Reed guitarist Steve Hunter, who also happens to be part of Alice's current touring band and was featured prominently on the original Welcome to My Nightmare album. Hunter joins the already potent current lineup of guitarists Damon Johnson and Tommy Henriksen, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel. Co-writers on various songs include Ezrin, Ke$ha, Dunaway, Bruce and Smith, plus Buckcherry's Keith Nelson, Desmond Child, longtime collaborator Dick Wagner, current touring band member Chuck Garric, and film composer Jeremy Rubolino.

What about those songs you ask? Well, as with all solid Alice Cooper albums you get a mix of hard rock, pop, and Cooper's brand of theatrical & gothic flavored material. "I Am Made of You" is a haunting rock piece with passionate vocals, chilling piano, and a scorching guitar solo. Heavy rockers such as "Caffeine", "A Runaway Train", "The Congregation", and "I'll Bite Your Face Off" complement the more quirky, pop based numbers like "Last Man on Earth", "Ghouls Gone Wild", and the oddball "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever". Alice & Co. take a page out of the Deep Purple playbook on the snarling, guitar & organ driven "When Hell Comes Home", and one of the surprising tracks here is the duet with Ke$ha on "What Baby Wants", an addicting mix of metal, industrial, techno, and hip hop.

While Welcome 2 My Nightmare doesn't quite hit the lofty heights of the original classic, as a sequel, and as a 2011 release from Alice Cooper, it can only be looked at as a success. The songs are catchy, the instrumentation well done, and Alice sounds very good vocally. For a guy that's been around as long as he has, you have to give him credit for coming up with an album this strong so late in his career. Two thumbs up for the 'return to the nightmare' !

Track Listing
1) I Am Made Of You
2) Caffeine
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

Added: September 29th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 4313
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Cooper, Alice: Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-29 11:28:48
My Score:

Taking a step back yet bringing us a new and very interesting album, Cooper has dug into his past once more to revisit an old friend. His last release hinted at a reunion of sorts as the character Steven from the original Welcome To My Nightmare disc made an appearance and now he takes it a step further with part 2 of one of his most beloved albums.

The nightmare continues. It carries on with the macabre humor and amazing wit of one of the most underrated lyricist around. He always manages to entertain and bring a smile to the face and there is no exception here. He also has brought Bob Ezrin back for another round behind the mother board and the results are a terrific blend of theatrics and anthem like rock and roll. I can just imagine what the song "Caffeine" is going to be like on stage along with other very Cooper like rockers such as "I'll Bite Your Face Off". He knows how to write songs that are going to be as visual as they are sonic pleasures. This disc only exemplifies his ability to do so.

I have always loved the wit of Alice Cooper and here he almost seems to make a point of injecting as much humor as possible. This one is just a whole lot of fun as he takes you through his personal nightmare again. "I Gotta Get Outta Here" is a prime example as he blends his twisted sense of humor with an old school rocker or I will always smile when I hear the line "I'm sleeping in the graveyard on the wrong side of the dirt" from the frantic bit of rock and roll called "A Runaway Train".

If there is a miss-step here it is the atrocious "Disco Bloodbath Boogie". Combining two of the most hated fields of music, you get a rap song done to a Disco beat. Ouch!!! Come on Alice, what were you thinking?

He takes a real step back and gives you a 60's style beach party style tune with his version of Monster Mash called "Ghouls Gone Wild". This one works well and should be another visual treat live. It is more of the theatrical side showing as with his ragtime shuffle "Last Man On Earth". I have to think that both of these are going to be integrated into the stage show in true Cooper fashion. This is one of the great things about Cooper music, it is like a narration to a movie as his songs are easily brought to life visually and just like the Saturday creepshow, you will enjoy the dark imagery he conjures up.

I do have to say that I also like the way he brought back the music from the original disc when he added the final song "The Underture". It is a fully orchestrated instrumental medley of the original album and ties it all together. It is great to hear these old classics once more and especially in this form.

Cooper adds a bonus to the disc with the unrelease "Under The Bed" that was written with Bob Ezrin and also three live tracks recorded at the Download Festival. The live tracks may be unnecessary but then again, classic Cooper is always worth a listen.

Cooper seems to defy time and keeps putting out quality music time and time again. This is another one that is a must have for the fans and for those that want a taste of music from a bygone era. Alice is a master of this type of stuff and this one is as enjoyable as any he has put out.

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