Welcome 2 My Nightmare
If I’ve learned anything from aging rock stars, it’s that there comes a point when creativity bottoms out, they stop caring, and eventually resort to a half baked reunion to push sales, and if you saw the “School’s Out” joke coming, then I’ll gracefully bow out of trying to be funny and get down to the album at hand, Alice Cooper’s latest “Welcome 2 my nightmare”.
We’ve seen what Ozzy is capable of past 60 (Nothing extraordinary), and who could ever wipe that atrocious super bowl halftime show that “The Who” put on from their memory. Alice however, is hot off the massively successful and entertaining Theater of Death tour, as well as an induction into the rock and roll hall of fame, and a reunion with the members that could have made the Alice Cooper Band the most respected and legendary rock group of all time, had they not broke up in 1973. Alice Cooper laughs career death in the face.
The music of Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a fantastic amalgamation of the greatest moments of Alice’s career. There are elements of Killer, Billion Dollar Babies, the original Welcome to My Nightmare, Lace and Whiskey, and The Last Temptation present in the musical formula, as well as musicians who took part in each of those records (except for The Last Temptation, a lineup that seems to have unfortunately fallen into the abyss). In particular, the lead single “I’ll Bite your Face Off” would have felt right at home on The Last Temptation, and “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” is that type of delicious tastelessness that feels right at home on an Alice Cooper record.
The standout tracks are (unsurprisingly) those penned by original Alice Cooper members Dennis Dunaway and Michael Bruce, and those are Runaway Train and When Hell Comes Home. The first is a blast right out of 40 years gone past. When Hell Comes Home on the other hand has a heaviness that’s quite startling coming from such aged musicians. It would be easy to say that these musicians had been sitting on their royalty checks for the last 40 years, letting their talents go to waste, but what’s clear is that these are still tremendously talented musicians that have been perhaps wasted to the perils of commercial interest.
Finally, the controversy has to be addressed. Ke$ha. First, for all those foaming at the mouth saying such a talent less pop star has no place on an album with a legend like Alice Cooper. Get real. Alice Cooper pioneered Shock Rock, a genre that Ke$ha feels right at home in. While maybe not the all encompassing spectacle that Lady GaGa has become, there has to be a lot of mutual respect between the two singers, and honestly, her performance isn’t that bad. Nothing spectacular, but she certainly lays down a good song, and it’s entertaining to hear pop stars sing lyrics with Cooper’s fingerprints all over them.
This is the gold standard for aging rock stars, and it hurts to even say that. Regardless of the age, the significance, and the legend that surrounds Alice Cooper, this is just a very, very, solid rock album.
Dagg's rating: 4/5