I may be in the minority, but I love when classic rock artists put out new music. I’m not saying I always like the finished product, but I like getting something new. The new Alice Cooper CD Paranormal is one I was really looking forward to, but as much as I hate to say it, it misses the mark.
Paranormal had a lot going for it. Great guest stars like ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Deep Purple’s Roger Glover and U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr. A reunion of the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper: Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, and Michael Bruce. While not a concept album, it has great subject matter with the Paranormal theme. But, even with all that, the album falls a little flat.
There are definitely some classic Alice Cooper moments. The title track opens up the CD. While a great song that is definitely in the vein of Cooper, it’s not a strong opener. It starts out dramatic but doesn’t give you much to sink your teeth into until the 2:30 mark leading into the guitar solo. It would have worked better a few songs into the album. “Fireball” is another strong track written by Dennis Dunaway about a fireball destroying a city. It starts out as a dream but turns out to be true.
The strongest track on the CD is “Paranoic Personality.” It’s a cross between ”Welcome to my Nightmare” and “Go to Hell.” It’s got a creepy vibe that breaks into a heavy riff and lyrics. The intro pulls some sound effects from classic Cooper tracks. It’ll fit nicely in his live set. The final big highlight is “Private Public Breakdown.” This is a riff-heavy song that is super catchy with a big crunchy guitar sound. This would also be fun to hear live.
Unfortunately, the rest of the CD falls off quite a bit. It’s got a strong classic rock sound, but a little too derivative. The intro and main riff of “Dead Flies” sounds too close to Robin Trower’s “Day of the Eagle.” “Fallen in Love” is a good song, but sounds more like ZZ Top, especially with Billy Gibbons on the track. And, while I like that they included “The Sound of A” as it was the first song Cooper wrote, it has a heavy Pink Floyd feel to it.
Even the two-song mini-reunion of the Alice Cooper band members is lackluster. They sound great together, but the songs “Genuine American Girl” and ”You and All of Your Friends” just aren’t very good.
This album is polarizing as I’ve seen fan reviews that either love it or hate it. So, if you’re an Alice Cooper fan, it’s definitely worth checking out and forming your own opinion. I listened to it a lot of times before writing the review. It did grow on me eventually, but not enough.
Regardless of what I think of this album, I’m looking forward to the new Hollywood Vampires CD that is supposed to come out next year. And, I’ll be just as excited for the next Alice Cooper CD.