Alice Cooper – Paranormal – 2017
Is the king of shock rock’s new album Paranormal what we’ve been waiting for? Well, I don’t know. It’s a good album for sure if you’re an Alice Cooper fan. But on the other hand, as a fan you might recognize quite a lot of the material even if you never heard it before. It’s new song but they’re familiar in some way. Not all of them of course but enough to almost create a Deja-vu. There’s nothing really new here that he hasn’t done before.
With that in mind I’m a bit disappointed. Welcome to my Nightmare came six years ago and I expected more from Alice Cooper. I can’t bring myself to dislike anything on the album though. It’s stabile music and Alice Cooper sings as good as ever. He’s almost 70 years old by now and who knows how long it’ll take until the next album. Or if there’ll even be one. He seems busy with the Hollywood Vampires these days too.
There’s no real hits that really glow in the dark, not from my perspective anyway. It’s kind of in the middle all the way though even if some of the track elevates themselves over the average. And the lyrics don’t get to me as they did back in the day either. I’m sure there are witty lyrics there as Alice Cooper is very clever and highly intelligent. That’s my impression of him anyway. He doesn’t do music and lyrics that he’s not satisfied with and that’s the same with Paranormal as with any other album I guess.
Music-wise Paranormal is the same kind of music Alice Cooper’s been doing for a while. He has experimented a bit over the recent years and before that too of course. There’s some cool rhythms and there’s a few Avant-Garde songs. It’s like a hybrid of rock n roll, garage rock, heavy metal and even some spoken word (almost). I think it’s great that the original band members is on the album as well. I’m not sure why it’s a big deal but it is. Alice Cooper was never better than when it was a band in the early seventies and I guess this is a way to make a homage to that era.
I won’t comment on the bonus tracks at all. Not more than I think it’s without imagination to include live versions of early hits. To the hell-bent collector it’s priceless of course because every version of the classic songs counts. But I’m getting a bit tired of the same songs appearing live all the time. Alice Cooper is so much more than just a few hits back in the day. But to be honest there’s a couple of unexpected live tracks here too. Some that’s usually not included. Something newer. But on the other hand, I Feed my Frankenstein was one of the hits from Hey Stoopid, wasn’t it?
It is one of those albums you have to give 3-5 listens to truly get it. There are some great songs on it like Fireball and a few others. What you have is a good album (From a great artist) but not a great album. It is definitely worth owning and has its moments.
I will say that “You and All Your Friends” which is one of the two songs written and performed by the original band is probably my least favorite track on the album and one of the reasons why (and I know original band fans can’t seem to get past that era, 40 years later) I am not in favor of a full-fledged original band album. This isn’t 1972 anymore. It is way, way past time to move beyond that.
Overall I give the new album a B. Some good stuff by a legend. This one is kind of more in the vein of the Eyes of Alice Cooper album.
Good and balanced review. The one track that bounces out and hits me is The Sound Of A, which I love. The rest are okay, but a bit disappointing. I miss the old dark-sided irreverent and pre-Christianity Alice. And I so much wanted a return to the concept album – something that told a story (though I know Alice has since stated he feels it is a concept album, by accident). I will replay the album a good few more times before resting on a judgement, but it certainly isn’t going to be a regular play like WTMN or Killer.