Alice Cooper, ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ – Album Review
Alice Cooper brings fans back for another trip through his vivid and demented imagination on the surprisingly diverse (heck, borderline schizophrenic) but always entertaining 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare.'
As we've documented pretty well by now, 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' is a cleverly titled sequel to Alice's 1975 slice of genius 'Welcome to My Nightmare.'
The new album once again finds Cooper reuniting with producing legend Bob Ezrin and members of the original Alice Cooper band. The story finds Alice losing his battle to stay awake and getting dragged through hell on another nightmare, this one involving runaway trains, a welcoming congregation and a sex-starved she-devil.
As with any real-life dream, settings and musical styles shift wildly throughout this nearly hour-long album. The auto-tuned vocals and emo-rock piano balladry of the opening track, 'I Am Made of You,' for example, will have you wondering if there was a mistake at the pressing plant.
We temporarily get back to more familiar ground with 'Caffeine,' but from there this 'Nightmare' careens wildly from Broadway-style interludes to the Tom Waits-ish oom-pah of 'Last Man on Earth' and the snyth-beat dance rock of 'Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever.' It all fits in with the album's storyline surprisingly well, partially because of Ezrin and Cooper's chemistry and songwriting skills, and perhaps most importantly, due to Alice's wicked sense of humor about the whole thing.
Highlights are numerous and include the expansive, vaguely psychedelic 'The Congregation,' the Stones-y lead single 'Bite Your Face Off' (reviewed here), the truly touching ballad 'Something to Remember Me By,' the menacing low-key piano stomp of 'When Hell Comes Home,' and the barreling 'Runaway Train,' on which country star Vince Gill takes a serious run at the "guitar solo of the year" title belt.
It all gets wrapped up with a shiny, bloody bow on the album's closing 1-2 punch of 'What Baby Wants' (an infectious electro-trash duet with pop rebel Kesha) and the climactic 'Gotta Get Outta Here,' which we won't spoil except to say, well, if you think things couldn't get worse for our hero, you're in for a surprise.
You can find out just how great 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' is for yourself, thanks to the kind people at Universal Music Enterprises, who are giving away 10 CD copies of the album via Ultimate Classic Rock. All you have to do to win is sign up below: