Alice Cooper – Road – 2023
So? what to say about former Shock Rocker Alice Cooper’s new album Road? I, for one, have been very anxious to hear this album. Not because I’ve loved everything that Alice has put out in recent years. I would say that the opposite has been true but that is to stretch it a little too far. I think the last few album has been ok, but not great. But since Alice Cooper has put out a total of 29 albums so far in his career (I’m including the original band’s discography in this of course), and some of them are timeless masterpieces, I can be very forgiving and still looking forward to the next album. I guess that’s the way we treat our true heroes.
And still, I’m not a fanatic. I have some of those among my friends. I respect that, I really do, but just because there’s some new music from our favorite artists doesn’t mean that everything is blessed with the Midas Touch. Of course, we could argue if Midas Touch is really a blessing or a curse but that’s a discussion for another time.
Live in the studio
Road is performed live in the studio by the current Alice Cooper band. Nita Strauss, Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen, Chuck Garric and Glen Sobel. I’m not sure if they have all contributed to the writing of the songs, but I know some of them have. There are also credits to Swedish Kee Marcello on the opening track – I’m Alice, Kane Roberts, Dick Wagner, and a few more. I must say that overall it sounds very vital!
I’m Alice was the first single to come out of the album a couple of months ago. And even though it seems like the logical approach to showcase that song, more or less because it’s a genuine opener for the album, I don’t find it to be the best song of the album. One of the worst actually. Maybe it’s more fair to say “least good” because it’s kind of catchy and I like it! It just doesn’t come up to the same level as some of the other tracks on Road. In fact, the first few songs don’t really do any magic for me. It’s not until 4 or five songs have gone by that I feel I get what I really love. Then the true catchy songs come along.
There’s true rock, wild solos, witty lyrics, and a lot of humor. Some of them you can pretty much laugh out loud to. Like when Alice references the 27 Club in Rules of the Road. He states all these rules that you need to follow on the road but the irony is that if you follow all these rules you’ll be dead at 27. But there is more subtle humor hidden in the lyrics as well and according to Alice himself, every song’s lyric is exaggerated to be over the top. But I am sure that most superstar rockers, actors och whichever type of celebrity you might be have had their fair share of stalkers, or groupies that you won’t quit, almost to the point of harassment.
Homesick blues and stalkers
So, there are songs about those stalkers, there are songs about feeling homesick and which substances you can use on the road just to cope with everything. I know Alice Cooper has had his fair share of substances and alcohol in his life so I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about. To put it simply, I love the lyrics and the overall theme of being on the road. It’s most certainly a concept album in that sense.
So, what about the music? Well, it’s hard, well-produced, and well-played. I think Alice Cooper makes it a bit simple for himself sometimes when he’s performing his singing a bit “talky”. but it suits the songs and I think that’s the important thing. Overall, a very good album that has been well worth the wait.
Oh, and he has confirmed in an interview that there’s another album already finished. Can’t wait for that one! 🙂