Alice Cooper
Paranormal


3.5
great

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (225 Reviews)
July 29th, 2017 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unyielding and showing the young'uns how it's done.

Alice Cooper is one of heavy metal’s biggest names; the music equivalent to what McDonald’s is for fast food. Though my analogy is a little raw, hear me out. Alice Cooper has undoubtedly contributed an unprecedented level of influence to the heavy metal we know today. Hell, I’d even go as far to say, in his field, he’s the most important figurehead for the genre. Music aside, his shock-rock stage shows were the talk of true terror in the 70s and 80s, and spurred on – to this day – an endless well of influence for bands and artists that proceed him. But even with the visual aspect burnt into most people’s minds, many forget Alice and co. have a bloody strong collection of LPs under their belt; matching their theatrics with some really, really great songs and albums from a near 50-year career: a colossal 27 LPs and a surprising amount of consistency within it all. At this point it should also come as little surprise that Alice Cooper is still rockin’ hard at 69 and [still] maintaining his status as a true asset to the world of music.

With all that said however, my standpoint on the band – despite being fully aware of their weighty importance – has me digesting their music like I would a dirty burger at McDonald’s; a quick pick-me-up before doing other things. No real thought or emotion being put into the decision, other than the fact I know what I’m getting and know it will adequately fill the void for a brief moment of time. That’s not to take anything away from Alice Cooper, because he really hasn’t had a bad album his entire career, it’s just that there’s little in the way of surprise. A spade is a spade, and true to form Paranormal is no different to the body of their previous works. A nice concise 10-track LP that showcases a decent production, solid instrumentation and a valiant effort from the singer, who ensures the album keeps its spark. Highlights come from tracks like “Paranoiac Personality” which bring a sleazy groove and some infectiously devious melodies, while “Fallen in Love” brings that 80s cock-rock swagger to the table. While more high-octane numbers like “Dynamite Road” and “Fireball” bring out the kind of influences White Zombie were tapping into for their songs back in the day: breakneck tempos with some playful subject matter alongside it all.

To be honest though, I kept being taken back by the band as whole than the album itself: a band that has been going for nearly half a century and still looks and sounds as vigorous and focused as any young band going today, and it’s a marvel to see. Their ability to deliver a record 6-years on from Welcome to My Nightmare, which offers all the hallmarks any fan would love, is extremely impressive. For Alice’s age, his voice is unbelievably consistent and strong: making sure he brought a bucket load of campy schlock and fun to his performances, with an ample supply of catchy melodies, he’s easily the best thing on this album. More importantly, there’s an underpinning conviction in what Alice is doing; this isn’t some half-arsed collection of recordings, it’s a labour of love. And I suspect this is how the band have maintained their quality over the years. Paranormal isn’t going to break the mould, but, then, it never set out to do that in the first place. This album has one thing in mind: its fans. And so long as the fire continues to burn in his belly, Alice Cooper is set to leave an intimidating legacy for others to follow.

Great.

EDITIONS: DIGITAL//C̶D̶//2̶-̶C̶D̶//V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: The 2-CD edition contains a host of bonus tracks.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
3
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2017


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As always, constructive criticism welcome.

Opethamphetamine
July 29th 2017


38 Comments


I'm lovin it'... this review I mean. Not McDonald's.

Dewinged
July 29th 2017


12186 Comments


Question is Gonzo, does any song here come close to Poison?



Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2017


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah, schools out and poison will never be reached. Haha

manosg
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2017


11317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

From the little I've heard this is indeed solid.



I can identify with a lot of stuff that you write on this review, Gonzo. I just love it when an artist who has very little/nothing to prove goes out and releases an album which you can feel is "a labour of love". This is what class acts who respect first and foremost themselves do.

Digging: Dio - Magica

Tim00w
July 29th 2017


62 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

When you say "that there’s little in the way of surprise", are you talking about this album or about his career in general. If it's the former I agree, because what he's doing on this one, we have heard before; but if it's the latter, I'll have to disagree. He tried almost every subgenre of rock and metal at least once throughout his career.

Dewinged
July 29th 2017


12186 Comments


I'll jam it anyway, cause Alice Cooper dammit. YOUR POISON'S RUNNING THROUGH MY VEINS.

And nice review Doc.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2017


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@tim



I'm referring to his career for the most part.



Do it dewinged! Haha



@Mansog



Yeah, mad props to him. I was shocked by how hungry and great he sounds on this, despite have absolutely nothing to prove at this point. Older bands need to take note *cough* Metallica *cough*

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2017


8876 Comments


Fantastic review, dude.. I think Billion Dollar Babies was the last album of his I loved properly, when he was playing fucking fantastic rock n roll.. does he get there with any of his more horror-esque records?

Also, Cooper seems like the nicest guy in interviews, and has some amazingly screwed-up stories..

Digging: The Vanity Set - The Vanity Set

YouGotLucky
July 29th 2017


972 Comments


Alice has some legit artistically great songs. Really emotive. Check out songs like I Never Cry. Underrated song imo.

trackbytrackreviews
July 29th 2017


3365 Comments


cringe cover

Batareziz
August 2nd 2017


202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, Simon. Agree on almost everything you say here. Paranormal is surprisingly solid, given the age of the man himself. Keep it up, Coop!

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2017


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers man, appreciated

BigHans
August 2nd 2017


29379 Comments


This is actually good? Interested

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2017


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pree solid like

emprorzurg
October 7th 2017


566 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Alice still goes at it for his 27th album, and I really do love his energy on this album, but on the whole I find it pretty unmemorable, with the exception of 'Paranoiac Personality' and 'Dynamite Road'



Best tracks are 'Genuine American Girl' and 'You and All Your Friends', both of which are bonus tracks

wham49
November 20th 2017


4178 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is terrible, at least for AC anyway. It does not sound like him, and over the top produced, the original lineup songs are slightly better, but does not save this



anyway don't bother, hit something pre "75" when they were unique cutting edge, and sounded like badasses

Digging: John Prine - The Tree Of Forgiveness

TheNotrap
December 12th 2017


9310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The album has some good songs. The title track, Fireball, Holy Water and especially The Sound of A are cool jams.

Digging: Burning Witches - Hexenhammer



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