Alice Cooper
Welcome 2 My Nightmare


2.0
poor

Review

by LordHamLeg USER (8 Reviews)
September 30th, 2011 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A swing and a miss. Come on, Cooper, you can do better than this!

Alice Cooper doing an album with Kesha on one track, and an excessive amount of vocal processing featured through out" Welcome to MY nightmare.

I love Cooper. I really do. He's a great entertainer. His concerts are great, even though the guy is now 45 years older than 18. When compared to his contemporaries, his voice has held up pretty well. And yes, I enjoy most his solo albums, even though they are often mixed bags, and nothing on the level of the Alice Cooper Band albums.

But Alice Cooper is not known as an artist with integrity. He changes his sound often, not so much as a means of artistic exploration, but rather as a means of topping the charts and reclaiming the glory of his days as a hitmaker. This was evident with 1980's "We're All Clones"; the metal efforts of the late 80s; the glam/hair metal of "Trash"; the Industrial Metal of "Brutal Planet" and "Dragon Town", and, when it became popular, the return to poppy garage fair with 2003's "Eyes of Alice Cooper." To his credit, he is a versatile musician. And he could be so much better than he has been for the last 20+ years.

"Welcome 2 My Nightmare" is, as the title suggests, a sequel to his classic album "Welcome to My Nightmare," a gaudy, bombastic work of rock opera, considered by many fans and critics to be his best solo release. W2MN SHOULD have be great. Hell, it features the original Alice Cooper band and producer Bob Ezrin! Well, W2MN is no WTMN.

The Concept

So apparently Alice's character, Steven, doesn't want to fall asleep or something, and then he does and has another nightmare. BUT IS IT A NIGHTMARE, OR IS HE REALLY DEAD"

That's basically the plot. There's not much of a departure from Alice's previous concept albums. The storyline is interchangeable, disposable, rather forced. He has the Steven character venturing into the usual AC locations: empty wastelands, zombie-ridden beaches, Disco & Hell (ala Alice Cooper Goes to Hell), stops for the random money-grabbing ballad, and then heads off for the DRAMATIC!!! conclusion, where we find out that our beloved hero might not be asleep after all.

The Album

The album offers a wide variety of styles, but lacks the cohesive creepiness of the previous entry, WTMN. Also, unlike the latter, this album is extremely over-produced. Maybe it's because Cooper is older and can't sing very well, or maybe it was a stylistic choice, but Vcoder and Auto-tune are used all over the album. Frankly, it's galling, distracting, and obnoxious.

After a brief snippet of the piano from "Steven", we dive right into "I Am Made of You," a track with good lyrics with overtly spiritual meaning - almost like Alice's born again confession - coupled with that annoying autotune effect that has no place on any self-respecting rocker's album. The song sounds like a funeral march, as though Alice is walking to the gallows. It's interesting, pretty well written, but as mentioned above, the auto tune ruins it. Nice solo in the middle. From there, we get "Caffeine," a disposable Alice Cooper tune that merely serves to move the "story" along. After a brief instrumental, we get "Runaway Train," which features great guitar work and the three surviving members of the Alice Cooper Band. "Last Man on Earth" is a fun, schmaltzy showtune with a nod to Tom Waits, and great (as far as I can tell, non-processed) vocals from Cooper. Clearly, this one is meant as a stand in for WTMN's "Some Folks"; I'm glad to say that LMOE is better.

"The Congregation" is an enjoyable song that sounds a bit too much like "Department of Youth" and "School's Out", and includes a spoken interlude with Rob Zombie. "I'll Bite Your Face Off" is the often-talked about Rolling Stones imitation number 1 hit. I don't particularly care for it. It's just too generic.

"Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever" has fans divided. A disco/rap song sung by Alice Cooper, with an absurd metal solo from John 5" Well, I love it. The lyrics are mildly amusing, and Cooper's tongue and cheek delivery makes it all the more enjoyable. Next comes the totally disposable "Ghouls Gone Wild," a beach-style tune that sounds like almost everything from "Eyes of Alice Cooper." One of the worst tracks on the album.

In speaking of bad tracks, we get "Something to Remember Me By" directly after "Ghouls." Someone tell Cooper that, just because "Only Women Bleed", "You and I," and "How You Gonna See Me Now" worked, doesn't mean that you have to stick a bad ballad on every album. I mean, ok, it's not terribly written. It's just... been there, done that. Cooper's vocals are great, but who cares" We know the Alice character has a soft side to him. Now, do something different.

"When Hell Comes Home" is the best song on the album. Make more like this, please! The bass is slinky, the guitar is crunchy, the vocals are sly and sinister. This one was played live in the studio by the surviving members of the Alice Cooper Band, and is about domestic violence. This is probably the best track Alice Cooper has written in years.

Now, the absolute worst thing on the album: "What Baby Wants." I know you want to get back on the charts, Alice Cooper, but this is really rock n' roll suicide. It sucks. It sounds like EVERYTHING on the radio. The awful auto tune, the bad lyrics, the KESHA... I feel like a 13 year old girl listening to this garbage. Make it stop. At least Poison was rocky.

Then comes "I Gotta Get Out of Here", a fun acoustic rock song with an amusing ending. The album ends with the pretty jaw-dropping orchestral track, "Underture" which features a mashup of Alice Cooper songs both current and old. Really nice. Next stop, Broadway.

I won't bother reviewing the bonus tracks. There are four different releases of this thing, each with different bonus tracks so that you have to buy all of them. *** that. Torrent it if you must, but there's absolutely no reason to buy four of the same thing, just for 2 different tracks. God, that's greedy.

Overall

A swing and a miss with lots of bad filler. Cooper, in places, you are on the right track. It was better than the generic, half-assed effort of 2008, "Along Came a Spider," but was no where near your earlier work with the Alice Cooper Band. I am a big fan of Cooper, and I will continue going to his shows because he really does entertain. I would recommend this album to die-hards only. For the rest of you, I'd recommend downloading the good tracks from iTunes.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Runaway Train, Last Man on Earth, The Congregation, Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever, When Hell Comes Home, Underture



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Comments:Add a Comment 
WhiteNoise
September 30th 2011


3625 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Album is absolute crap. I saw him live again two days ago and he only played one song from here, such a good live act though!

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011


56353 Comments


Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

LordHamLeg
September 30th 2011


36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Or the old standard "Electric Booglaoo."



Yeah, this album isn't that great. Honestly, it's closer to a 2.5. Maybe even a 2. Unlike his other albums, this isn't so much a mixed bag as it is a disproportionate amount of bad songs.



I love his live shows, though. He's a great entertainer.

TheNotrap
October 1st 2011


9634 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Stopped listen to Alice after Hey Stoopid.



I don't know this album but I find strange your 2.5 rate with so many highlight songs on your review

Digging: Opera Magna - Del amor y otros demonios

anarchistfish
October 1st 2011


26816 Comments


you recommended almost half the album

LordHamLeg
October 1st 2011


36 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

^Amended. As I mentioned in my one line review, I'm a fanboy. I allowed fanboyism to eclipse better judgment.

MisterSteel
November 12th 2011


453 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Love Alice Cooper, and he had actually aged pretty well. His last album Along Came a Spider was great.



That said, he can absolutely go retire now or just stick to touring because he's gone the Ozzy route of not being able to record anything remotely competent whatsoever. Disappointing but unavoidable, I suppose.

xorax
November 27th 2011


96 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, but what is this album? Seriously, this blows.

metalismymusic
March 6th 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I may be in the minority on this site but I actually like the new Alice. It isn't a heavy Alice album and many of the songs are more comedic than anything but I think most of the songs worked even the song with Keisha was catchy. It isn't a classic album but it isn't bad. I love Alice's more recent work for the most part. The Last Temptation and Brutal Planet were GREAT Alice albums.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2012


2586 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

When i first heard this album, i couldn't believe the hype that was created before this album's release date was announced. It's boring, uninspired and too damn long. Not just that, but none of the instruments here, as well as Furnier's voice, are used to maximum effect. In fact, most of this album is either flooded with sound effects or Furnier's narrative voice, which is more convincing than his actual singing by the way. I may seem harsh in saying this, but it's more than justified to be honest. Nonetheless, a few songs are actually pretty decent-Opener 'I am made of you' could be part of Cooper's future setlist, and the very ballad-like 'Something to remember me by' is nicely written. But for the most part virtually nothing here convinces me that Alice Cooper is back with a vengeance. I mean, there isn't any shock horror or scare at all. That's just what Furnier promised in interviews in the run-up to the album's release too. I see the guy at bloodstock this year, but damn it if he starts praising this album.

Digging: Mastiff - Plague

emprorzurg
September 29th 2012


566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sure it may not have the depth of "Welcome to My Nightmare" or "The Last Temptation" but its easy and fun listening

WhiteNoise
September 29th 2012


3625 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

It isn't though.



I cringe whenever I hear this, it just sounds so forced...



he still puts on a wicked live show though.

Dessicatedcorpse
March 4th 2014


5 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This album is NOT a return to form of any kind, all it does is take the elements from Welcome to My Nightmare and modernise them or make them blunt-- completely ruining this album. I only enjoyed Caffeine and When Hell Comes Home, the rest were either dull, insulting or cringe-worthy.



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