sun 26/05/2024

CD: Alice Cooper - Paranormal | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Alice Cooper - Paranormal

CD: Alice Cooper - Paranormal

Alice returns to give his theatrical stylings an alt-rock make-over

Alice: Good fun and some decent tunes

The cover of Alice Cooper’s first album in six years shows the erstwhile Vincent Furnier with two heads. This, one assumes, is supposed to provide a neat little illustration of Paranormal’s musical content which is spread over two discs.

On the first disc, Alice lays out his theatrical vision over largely alt-rock stylings, while on the second disc he knocks out a couple of tunes with the iconic Alice Cooper Band before treating the listener to half a dozen of his old classics culled from a recent gig in Columbus with his present band.

It’s all good fun and there are even a few decent tunes among the new material but, somewhat inevitably, Paranormal doesn’t get near the heights of Killer, Billion Dollar Babies or the other highlights of Alice’s 1970s magnificence. Nevertheless, the rock’n’roll cabaret of “Dynamite Road”, “Dead Flies” with its punky undertones and growls of “Your sister’s high on Angel Dust”, and the biker rock of “Fallen in Love” with its dirty blues riff suggest that the Old Campaigner isn’t ready to be put out to grass just yet.

“Genuine American Girl” and “You and All Your Friends”, the two tunes recorded with Dennis Dunaway, Neil Smith and Michael Bruce of the original band, however, are a bit of a disappointment. While they aren’t particularly embarrassing, neither are they particularly special and just come on like fairly commercial rawk without a great deal of roll. The live tracks though suggest that Alice can still very much produce the goods in concert, with kicking versions of “No More Mr Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels” bringing a very powerful reminder of the man’s place in the Rock’n’Roll Pantheon – which is only reinforced by a rip-roaring take on the evergreen “School’s Out”.

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