Alice Cooper – Paranormal
Alice knows how its done. You embrace your past as you lean slightly forward. You team up with the producer of your classic albums, Bob Ezrin. You assemble a band that can capture your old style while sprinkling in enough new flavor to keep it fresh. You bring the members of the classic lineup back for a couple of songs on the bonus disc along with some new live recordings of the hits. Everybody is happy and they’d better be because honestly, what more could you ask for? (Are you listening KISS, cause I’m looking at you?)
I’m not saying this is a perfect album. There are a few lumps in the oatmeal for sure, but as a whole it is truly a blast. There are some awesome classic sounding Alice songs on here but even the ones that don’t totally succeed still contain Alice’s distinctive personality and style. Not only will you find the obvious lyrical references to Billion Dollar Babies but also some sonic tips of the hat to Alice’s late ’80s Trash and Hey Stoopid sound and his 2000s era of Brutal Planet and Dragontown as well. Listening to this record you realize how many bands Alice has influenced when it dawns on you that the opening track, “Paranormal”, could practically be a new single from Ghost.
Also worth mentioning are a few guest appearances. Larry Mullen of U2 fame plays drums on most of the album, Roger Glover from Deep Purple lays down some nice bass on the title track and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top contributes his signature guitar sound to “Fallen In Love”. All of that is well and good but the super star guests aren’t guests at all but the return of original Alice Cooper Band members Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith on two tracks on the bonus disc. Dennis also plays bass on a couple of tracks on the album proper too. Boy is it good to have these guys back. Maybe its the magic of the musical time machine talking but their songs “Genuine American Girl” and “You And All Of Your Friends” sound as good as anything on their classic and revered early ’70s catalog (which I posted about recently here). The package finishes out with some nice live recordings of Alice’s hits. All in all at almost age 70 Mr. Cooper still has attitude, magic, wit and style to spare. I hope he shares some more with us soon.