Some things get better with age. With Vincent Furnier aka Alice Cooper (who turned 63 in February) this is truly the case. With Alice Cooper’s latest effort, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, Alice has turned in one of his most creative pieces of work yet.
Producer Bob Ezrin came up with the idea for Alice to do the sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare. I don’t know if anyone could have guessed what Alice would come up with after that. Alice Cooper brought in several of his old bandmates including Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Steve Hunter, and Dick Wagner, as well as a cast of many others to help create a brand new nightmare, which to my ears is one Alice Cooper’s finest works to date.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare somehow manages to recapture that classic 70’s sound of the original, without sounding dated. Welcome 2 My Nightmare incorporates the sounds of classic and hard rock, and little bit of disco. It is hard to compare it to the monsterous album Welcome to My Nightmare, which spawned such great songs like “Cold Ethyl”, “Only Women Bleed” and “Welcome to My Nightmare”. You won’t find Vincent Price (God rest his soul) narratives on Welcome 2 My Nightmare either, but you are going to find a whole bunch of new tunes that you will be sure to love.
There are several songs on Welcome 2 My Nightmare which could easily be worked in to Alice’s live set for years to come. This album is so strong that he could probably do a tour playing the entire album live. The album isn’t perfect, but it is pretty close to it. I could have lived without the auto tune effect on Alice’s vocals on the opening cut “I Am Made of You”. Luckily, this is the only song plagued by that ill-used effect. (Note: To all artists and producers of rock music, Auto Tune is NEVER ok to use in rock music; No one wants to hear that crap.) “I Am Made To You” is a pretty strong opener, and a really good song. Bob Ezrin should have known better than to use those effects in my opinion.
While Alice Cooper’s previous effort Along Came a Spider was an outstanding effort, it pales in comparison to the creative and enthusiastic offering Welcome 2 My Nightmare from the Alice Cooper and company. There are many classic moments, and too many cool tunes to mention on this CD. Some of my favorites are the catchy “Caffeine”, to the Vaudeville fun of “Last Man on Earth”, and the cool rocker “I’ll Bit Your Face Off”. I will be playing this one a ton for years to come.
Voting is now closed, throw away your unused ballots, Welcome 2 My Nightmare will be the easy choice for album of the year in 2011. Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Am Made of You
3. The Nightmare Returns
4. A Runaway Train
5. Last Man on Earth
6. The Congregation
7. I’ll Bite Your Face Off
8. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
9. Ghouls Gone Wild
10. Something To Remember
11. When Hell Comes Home
12. What Baby Wants
13. I Gotta Get Outta Here
14. The Underture
Alice Cooper – Vocals, Harmonica
Michael Bruce – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Dennis Dunaway – Bass, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Neal Smith – Drums, percussion, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Damon Johnson – guitar on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Keri Kelli – guitar on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Jimmy DeGrasso – drums on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Steve Hunter – guitars on “Something To Remember Me By”, “When Hell Comes Home” and “What Baby Wants”
Keith Nelson – Guitars, backing vocals on “Caffeine”
Desmond Child – Co-songwriter
Dick Wagner – Co-songwriter / Lead guitar on “The Underture”
Rob Zombie – Backing vocals on “The Congregation”
John 5 – guitar on “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”
Tommy Denander – Guitars on “I Am Made of You”
Vince Gill – Lead guitar on “A Runaway Train” and “Gotta Get Outta Here”
Chuck Garric – Bass
Jeremy Rubolino – Co-songwriter
Ke$ha – Guest vocals on “What Baby Wants”
Piggy D – Co-songwriter, and bass on “Last Man On Earth”
David Spreng – Co-songwriter and drums on “Last Man On Earth”
Kip Winger – backing vocals on “Ghouls Gone Wild” & “The Congregation”
Patterson Hood – guitar on “Gotta Get Outta Here”
I have always considered myself a casual Rob Zombie fan. I have enjoyed many (but not all) of his songs in the past. With that being said, I am having a lot of trouble getting into the newest CD, Hellbilly Deluxe 2. After spinning this CD a few times, I found moments of brilliance, incredible guitar work, and a catchy song or two. On the other hand, I found Rob’s over industrialized vocals to be rather bland and noisy.
I have no problem with profanity in rock, but the repeated chorus of “Rock Motherfucker” in the song “Sick Bubblegum” does not work for this rock fan. I guess I am in a place in my life where I don’t need to hear the profanities over and over again. I am sure the angst filled teenagers will love it. I don’t care for it.
I must admit that I found the song “What?” extremely catchy, and I have grown to like this one a lot.
The musicianship on this CD is stellar,and I get a kick out of Rob’s horror filled lyrics. For whatever reason, Rob Zombie’s vocals grate on my nerves on this CD. People who like Rob’s vocals may find more to like with Hellbilly Deluxe 2, as John 5, and Piggy D do a great job here.
I have tried repeatedly to listen to this CD, and I have struggled with it ever time. For this listener, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is a macabre mess of distorted mayhem. The Zombieheads out there will probably love this. I found it to be above average at best.
1. Jesus Frankenstein
2. Sick Bubble-Gum
4. Mars Needs Women
5. Werewolf, Baby!
6. Virgin Witch
7. Death and Destiny Inside the Dream Factory
9. Cease to Exist
10.Werewolf Women of the SS
11.The Man Who Laughs
Rob Zombie – Vocals & Lyrics
John 5 – Guitars
Piggy D. – Bass
Tommy Clufetos – Drums
Tyler Bates – String Arrangements
Chris Baseford – Keyboards and Programming