Alice Cooper – Paranormal (Album Review)

Alice Cooper – Paranormal
Released 28th July, 2017

Alice Cooper online

Facebook: Alice Cooper
Website: Alice Cooper

What’s there to be said about Alice Cooper that hasn’t already been said. Not much I’m guessing, but I’ll say stuff anyway. It’s been six very long years since the release of ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ an album that saw a continuation of the return to the classic Alice sound.  A journey back that started back in 2003 with  The Eyes Of Alice Cooper’. Gone is the heavy as hell sound of albums like ‘Brutal Planet’ or ‘Dragontown’. Those heavier albums have their place but they’re not really where Alice’s strengths lie. The Coop is at his best when his tongue is planted firmly in cheek with menacing lyrics and haunting music. ‘Paranormal’ has all that and more.

 

One of the most exciting aspects of this album was when announced producer extraordinaire Bob Ezrin was once again teaming with the master of shock rock. If there are two people Alice contributes part of his success to its longtime manager Shep Gordon and Ezrin. Shep has been the only manager Cooper ever had, dating back to 1968. Bob Ezrin jumped on board in 1971 to produce the absolutely brilliant “Love It To Death’. So here we are 46 years later with Bob and Alice back at it. From the opening track, the album is instantly Alice. The title track starts with acoustic guitars before that big rock sound kicks in. The track builds nicely to where we hear the great man’s almost whispered vocals for the first time. Lyrically you get dragged into the nightmare, swept away in the paranoia of Cooper’s twisted imagination. This is what he does best, the clever use of lyrics telling a nightmarish story like a 4-minute horror movie that leaves you wanting more. How does it end? Did she get away? Is the monster still there watching from the dark? The answer is, of course, the monster is still there, and even if you think it’s gone, they always come back.

But it’s not all nightmares and stalkers like a good splatter flick there’s humour. There’s none more humorous when Alice dons a bit of drag as he does in Genuine American Girl’. This song is a real treat for old fans as it features the original Alice Cooper Band of Neal Smith on drums, Michael Bruce on guitar and the legendary Dennis Dunaway bringing that unmistakable groove on bass. The song not only has groove there’s even a bit of doo-wop – It has the same sense of humour as ‘The Ballad Of Jesse Jane’ off 2005’s criminally underrated ‘Dirty Diamonds’. What is it about a man called Alice who sings about transgender people?

 

In my eyes Alice rarely goes wrong – sure with a career spanning more than 50 years, there’s going to be a few misses. But this album is hit after hit. We see the best of old school Cooper with a fresh dose of new Alice crafted into a double album worthy enough to stand alongside the likes of ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ or ‘Love It To Death’. Get your hooks into this one people. Personally, I’ll be dropping my hard earned on the double vinyl and playing it loud enough to annoy the neighbour’s kids for hours.

alice cooper album

Alice Cooper – Paranormal Tracklist:

  1. Paranormal
  2. Dead Flies
  3. Fireball
  4. Paranoic Personality
  5. Fallen In Love
  6. Dynamite Road
  7. Private Public Breakdown
  8. Holy Water
  9. Rats
  10. The Sound Of A
  11. Genuine American Girl
  12. You And All Your Friends
  13. No More Mr. Nice guys (live)
  14. Under My Wheels (live)
  15. Billion Dollar Babies (live)
  16. Feed My Frankenstien (live)
  17. Only Women Bleed (live)
  18. School’s Out (live)

Rating: 9/10
Pre-Order Paranormal right here. It’s out tomorrow via earMusic/Sony Music Australia
Reviewed by Gareth Williams (@notgareth)

About Gareth Williams (48 Articles)
The Heavy Metal Poet, the only guy dumb enough to recite poetry at Soundwave, star of stage and radio. Now writing words for Wall Of Sound

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: