Alice Cooper
Along Came a Spider


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
August 2nd, 2008 | 43 replies | 27,998 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What Along Came a Spider lacks in a "School's Out" or "Poison"-type classic, it makes up by being an all-around solid album, and a ton of fun to listen to.

Coupled with Alice Cooper's 60th birthday last February and the simple fact that Along Came a Spider is the shock rocker's twenty-fifth studio album, you'll have to forgive me for being just a little sceptical. After all, how many of Cooper's contemporaries are still recording quality records? Not very many, surely. And nobody could possibly have forgotten how incredibly abysmal Ozzy Osbourne's Black Rain is, right?

Preconceived notions be damned. Along Came a Spider is a fine record. Even Ozzy, who makes an appearance on "Wake the Dead" is almost bearable in all of his strained, nasally glory. Though Cooper doesn't really step outside his comfort zone at any point during the record, Along Came a Spider makes up for its lack of depth and uniqueness with an unabashedly entertaining brand of hard rock. Keri Kelli contributes Sabbath-esque grooves in "Vengeance is Mine" and "I Am the Spider" and bluesy licks akin to something heard off Welcome to My Nightmare in "Wrapped in Silk". Barring ballads "Killed By Love" and "Salvation", Along Came a Spider may be a heavier endeavour than some of Cooper's past efforts – particularly "Vengeance is Mine" and "Catch Me If You Can" – but the majority of the record maintains the same level of accessibility as past hits. And while Cooper doesn't pen numbers that exceed his classic tracks, "Catch Me If You Can" and "(In Touch With) Your Feminine Side" are among the most memorable of Along Came a Spider's repertoire, and should make for excellent live cuts.

As for the horror concept, well, it doesn't tread too far from Alice-territory either. Not that it's a bad thing, really. Along Came a Spider revolves around a serial killer named Spider, whom attempts to construct a spider by collecting a leg from eight of his victims. For some reason, however, he falls in love with his eighth victim, which complicates his goal significantly. It's a bizarre story for sure, but it's the kind of concept that Cooper excels at, and he certainly plays his roll as Spider well. Each of Along Came a Spider's songs documents a different segment of Spider's activities; "Vengeance is Mine" shows his disdain for society and "Wake the Dead" explains the motive (or lack thereof) for his murderous streak. "The One That Got Away" tells of the abduction of Spider's victims and "Wrapped in Silk" of the grisly murder that shortly follows. With "Salvation", Spider has an epiphany and makes an attempt at repentance. This could have been one of the most powerful points of the album, had it been the closing track, but instead, "I Am the Spider" closes off the record with a mere summation of Spider's character. It's one of the heavier rockers Along Came a Spider has to offer, but the dark lyrical imagery almost completely overshadows that heard in "Salvation". Disappointing, to say the least, though the epilogue in which Cooper repeats "you trap, you kill, you eat" is kind of creepy.

After five decades of straddling garage and hard rock, it would probably have been silly to expect Along Came a Spider to be anything other than an "Alice Cooper" album, so to speak. It's still an engaging listen, however, and one which old and new fans alike should take solace in. What it lacks in a "School's Out" or "Poison"-type classic, it makes up by being an all-around solid album, and a ton of fun to listen to. Really, what more could you ask for from an Alice Cooper record?



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SHOOTME
August 2nd 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers for another bloody excellent review Mike.

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 2nd 2008



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ty. this was stupidly annoying to write

also lol at the fanboys

Wizard
August 2nd 2008



19244 Comments


Alice Cooper is one of my favourite classic rock artists. I will be certainly checking this album out. Good review Mikesn.

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

TheStarclassicTreatment
August 2nd 2008



2910 Comments


Vengeance is Mine is soooooooo good

Willie
Moderator
August 2nd 2008



15891 Comments


I haven't heard anything from this guy since "Trashed". How does it compare?

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Ironpriest
August 3rd 2008



403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hmm, sure his reviews are ace, but EVERYONE on this site seems to suck up and kiss mikesn's a**...

btw is it true slash played on this album?This Message Edited On 08.03.08

astrel
August 3rd 2008



2614 Comments


That is probably because he is a good reviewer and not a prick about it. I highly doubt I would like this, but I am really curious as to how it pans out. The concept is awesomely cheesy.

AtavanHalen
August 3rd 2008



17927 Comments


Don't appreciate the Ozzy dissing. Still, a great write-up on an intriguing sounding album.

WickedYoungMan
August 3rd 2008



15 Comments


Mike, I can't help but notice though that while your review is well written to a degree, I say "to a degree" because you have some factual errors in this.

Off the bat... by all accounts Ozzy is apparently just playing the harmonica riff on "Wake The Dead." No way you heard his voice when he didn't sing on it.

Also, if you had followed interviews by Greg Hampton or even noted the album credits which say who played on what, you'd know that Keri Kelli's playing contributions were limited to "In Touch With Your Feminine Side," "Killed By Love," and "The One That Got Away," which were all songs he co-wrote on. The rest were handled by the producers Greg Hampton and Danny Saber on guitars.. and to the poster who asked, yes Slash is on the album playing the wailing leads on "Vengeance."

All of this can be confirmed just by a simple look at the album credits.

fireaboveicebelow
August 3rd 2008



6837 Comments


get over yourself young man

good review, I just might get this now

longtee35
August 3rd 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review Mike and I agree one hundred percent with it. This one gets better with each listen.

For the guy who claims he hasn't heard an Alice album in years. It was called "Trash" not trashed. You really need to check out this one and The Last Temptation and Brutal Planet albums they blow Trash out of the water.
This Message Edited On 08.06.08

FenderUsa
August 3rd 2008



582 Comments


5 5's already WTF

Eliminator
August 3rd 2008



2067 Comments


alice is suckland lol

Eakflanderyof
August 3rd 2008



2143 Comments


They think they know everything and from what I recall they have different sets of rules depending on if the administrators are buddies with the poster or not.


That part sounds a lot like this site.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 3rd 2008



15727 Comments


yeah :upset:

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

WickedYoungMan
August 3rd 2008



15 Comments


"They think they know everything and from what I recall they have different sets of rules depending on if the administrators are buddies with the poster or not."

I don't mean to carry this on, but you undoubtedly sound like someone who is friends, or possible is Sandy or Jason. Just curious what you contributed to the site?

longtee35
August 4th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sorry just voiced an opinion. I don't think he was trying to be rude.This Message Edited On 08.06.08

longtee35
August 4th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh it's me again, lol! I need to stay on topic, I just wanted to address a question asked to me. I guess it annoys me that someone would think I was whoever this Sandy or Jason person is, simply because I have a differing opinion than he does.

The new Alice album gets better with each listen. I honestly like every song except the opener, I Know Where You Live. From what I hear, the album is selling pretty well. It definitely is a good album. I would probably make it a little darker but I think this is a really really good Cooper album.

taylormemer
August 4th 2008



4913 Comments


Eliminator you are entitled to your opinion but considering you like bands like Lincoln Park, I hardly find you qualified to talk about Alice. Alice rules, you can't compare the two musicial styles really. But we will see how many decades your bands last, or how many albums they will stick around for.

Wicked Young Man, I didn't mean any offense to you other than your post sounded like you were talking down to the reviewer which I have seen you and others do quite often. I do not know who you are referring to when it comes to Sandy or Jason. I know a few Jasons but none of them are hard rock fans. My name is Tina and I stand on my own two feet. I don't want to do this here, but I simply was referring to the fact that I used to be a member of the Sickthings UK site years ago and was turned off by how rude some of the posters are and some of the content. I remember years ago people spend weeks debating about Alice's dental work. That was a bit too obsessive for my tastes. Whenever I commented, posters were often rude to me and others. I saw the administrators often chastize some posters when they were rude to someone, but others were constantly allowed to get away with it. It just struck me as something out of high school and I realized I didn't need that. I know as much about Alice as most people and love the guy. You should be a little less stern with people and treat people the same. To answer your question, I simply posted what I thought about Alice. I didn't post as often as many reviewers I was more of a viewer of the site, but I contributed when a topic interested me. Just for the record, Sickthings UK has some very useful content on the site, I just think the messageboard is a bit much and that it is run inconsistently and certain people like to get on their high horse to much.



I used to post frequently on the ACG run by someone I think is called Katman. Many fans knew me at Alice's shows because I am a 6'2 tall blonde, hence my nickname longtee. Just so you know and I apologize to everyone else here for rambling, there are a ton of people WYM turned off by how you and your site talk down to people. I am sure you are a nice guy. You just could have handled addressing the reviewer more politely and realize what he has to say is just as valid as you. Just because you apparently are a big shot on an Alice site does not make you better than other people or more of a fan. Just tone it down a little.


Firtsly, don't make the mistake many new users have and take everything Eliminator says and does.
Secondly, I don't believe WickedYoundMan was being too harsh. He was making a point about the review's factual authenticity, which is entirely acceptable.

longtee35
August 4th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Taylor. This Message Edited On 08.06.08



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