Review Summary: A Great Conclusion to the trilogy.
Alice Cooper. Where the *** would the music industry be without guys like this? This is the same guy who released classic albums such as Billion Dollar Babies, School's Out and, oh yeah, Trash. This is also the same guy who released a fantastic duo of metal albums, The Last Temptation and Brutal Planet, the latter of which being one of the finest albums that has ever graced my ears. So, a year after Brutal Planet, Alice decided to conclude the story that was opened up with the first two albums, with his 2001 masterpiece Dragontown. Before i get into the music, i just want to point out that the standards set by his 2000 cracker are one of the things to consider when listening to this album.
1. Triggerman- A fantastic track, starting ridiculously fast for an Alice Cooper song. This is best compared to It's The Little Things from his previous album, as they are both very fast, with a great drum beat. However, it is not hard to see that this is the better track, getting the album off to a magnificent start, with some great lyrics about a hitman, and Alice yelling along. "I am the triggerman". Fantastic, and a great way to open the album. 5/5
2. Deeper- A much slower song, more of a doom metal song, with a quiet verse, that leads into a fairly loud, sing-a-long friendly the chorus. "The elevator broke, it went right through the floor" shouts Alice, and the listener finds themselves enchanted. However, when you compare this song to the dizzying standards set by the first track, it finds itself lagging behind. An average tune. 3/5
3. Dragontown- Ah, the title track. Where it was one of the highlights on Brutal Planet, this time around it is possibly THE highlight. Dragontown has a very haunting guitar line to open it, and some dark lyrics and vocal work by Cooper. He puts real emotion into this one, and the chorus is the best on the album by a long way. 5/5
4. Sex, Death and Money- This was a track that, many moons ago, i used to consider to be Cooper's finest song. However, a few years have passed since then, and i can see it for what it is-a slightly above average song that, whilst being very sing-a-long friendly and catchy, it is devoid of any real musical creativity. 3.5/5
5. Fantasy Man- One of the best guitar lines on this album opens this track, really catching the fun atmosphere of this song, similar to what Sanctuary was to the previous album. However, despite this fun, bouncy side to this song, it is, once again, rather poor when compared to some of the finer cuts on this album. It is still a very solid song, but it really does nothing to blow the listener away. 3.5/5
6. Somewhere In The Jungle- Similar to Brutal Planet's Eat Some More, this track is ridiculously heavy, and features a very odd accent from Cooper. The lyrics deal with African tribe wars, and are very dark and evil. Cooper sounds fantastic on this song, and the guitar work to it really does the song justice. This is one of my personal favourites on the album, and really does a lot to boost what has so far been a collection of middle of the road tracks with two standouts. 4.5/5
7. Disgraceland- Another comedic, fun song, Alice impersonates Elvis perfectly on this song. This song is by far the finest tribute to The King ever written, although in this case it is an evil persona of The King, in the Brutal Planet. The lyrics are hilarious, as is Alice's vocals on it, and this is another one that has picked the album up. Having had many weaker tracks, the album has finally hit it's stride, and this is one of the reasons. This is one of the more creative songs on the album, and for that reason i have to tip my hat to Mr Cooper. 4/5
8. Sister Sara- A track that attempts to do something different, Alice actually RAPS on this song, for the first out of two on the album. This is one of the weaker tracks, showing a dip in quality again. The lyrics are fairly good, such as "now i dont know, but ive been told, theres a nun having fun and shes lost her soul". Yes, it deals with a nun who is selling herself, and they really work. Alice's rapping is good, but the riff is rather boring, and the drumming is not great. This is a poorer song, that Alice saves from being REALLY terrible. 3/5
9. Every Woman Has A Name- Remember Cooper's ballads, such as Only Women Bleed and the amazing Take It Like A Woman? Well, strip those of every inch of genius and emotion that made them so good, and replace them with a boring, bland, blank canvas that seeks to match them but never comes close. That is essentially what Every Woman Has A Name is. 1.5/5
10. I Just Wanna Be God- The second of the rapped songs on the album, this one is actually amazing. And i mean AMAZING calved in 100 feet letters on the side of a ***ing mountain. The genius at work here is really present, and this song is made into one of Cooper's finest tracks of all time. The way Cooper says the words of the title "i just wanna be god" is absolutely incredibly. God i love this song. 5/5
11. It's Much Too Late- Imagine the situation with Sex, Death And Money reversed, i used to hate this track, but now i really have grown to respect it. The guitar tone sets the very optimistic but dark side of it, and when Cooper comes in, you already know that you are onto something special. I adore this song. Congratulations, Mr Cooper, you have yet another winner here. 4.5/5
12. The Sentinel- One of the darkest, most evil cuts of the album, this song was rather ill timed, with Alice seemingly predicting the tragedy of 9/11. This deals with the subject of terrorism with one twist-its from a ***ing terrorists perception, during the same year as the Twin Towers tragedy. Uh oh, Alice. Ah well, that really is detracting from the point, and the point is that this is yet another track that wins out, with some amazing lyrics, and one of Cooper's best vocal performances on the album. Well done, Alice. 4/5
So, does this compare to Brutal Planet? It is hard to say, as this album is not nearly as heavy nor as refined as that album. However, when this album shines, it shines brighter than Brutal Planet. Tracks such as Dragontown and I Just Wanna Be god smoke anything off of Brutal Planet, but tracks like Every Woman Has A Name just seem to be trying too hard. This is a varied album, still sticking to the metal genre, but experimenting with various ideas such as rapping. Well done, Alice, another amazing record.