Welcome 2 My Nightmare by Alice Cooper (EMI/UME)
The original Welcome To My Nightmare was unleashed in 1975, an absolutely iconic album for rock superstar Alice Cooper, which featured the hit single Only Women Bleed. And although sequels are almost never as good as the original, Alice Cooper’s 2011 effort Welcome 2 My Nightmare is imaginative and wildly infectious, presenting a whole new collection of material to warm up those chilly sleepless nights. Nearly an hour’s worth of diabolic intrigue is to be found within Cooper’s 26th extravaganza, and it’s a dark adventure well worth seeking out.
The nightmare commences on a grand and epic scale with the dynamic strains of I Am Made Of You, reeling the listener in for the scary reveries to come. “If I close my eyes, it will be the death of me,” muses Cooper in the wondrously quirky Caffeine. The Nightmare Returns kicks off as a sinister children’s lullaby and then succumbs to a wild and grim ride on the “Nightmare Express” with A Runaway Train.
The descent into the underground continues with the campy overtures of Last Man On Earth, with it’s sinister tongue in cheek lyricism. “I can smoke, I can drink, I can smoke and I can stink,” says the narrator with a sense of fiendish glee. The tour into the dark recesses of a hell then runs into The Congregation, featuring a ghoulish guest appearance by the one and only Rob Zombie.
I’ll Bite Your Face Off is a soon to be Alice Cooper classic, with the narrator encountering a demonic female guide. A wickedly catchy affair with a nasty chorus that will remain embedded in your feverish brain for the ages.
Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever is a murderous dancehall affair, where the maligned genre itself is all but eternal damnation for our hapless hero. Then it’s on to the surfadelic wave sounds of Ghouls Gone Wild, a good deal of creepy fun to be sure.
Something To Remember Me By is an ominous power ballad, with the trademark Cooper persona rendering this one a timeless celebration of sound. The macabre returns with a dead serious vengeance on the haunting When Hell Comes Home, about a young boy seeking revenge on an alcoholic, abusive father. “So tired of being scared,” resulting in, “Daddy’s gonna get a big surprise, I’ll put one right between his eyes.” Some nightmares are vividly real and foreboding. A blood cousin to the equally disturbing Only Women Bleed.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare swings back into the imaginary yet still scary as hell endeavors, when chanteuse Ke$ha joins Cooper for the wondrously trashy What Baby Wants. And then on I Gotta Get Out Of Here, the stark realization is clearly that the nightmare is never going to end, “What part of dead don’t you get?” the chorus screams out with wicked glee. As the hero’s fate is fully realized, The Underture lulls the listener into one’s own state of false ease as you get ready for your very own personal nightmare.
Produced with skill and precision by the famed Bob Ezrin (who also helmed the original Nightmare as well as several KISS records), Welcome 2 My Nightmare seals the devilish deal as Alice Cooper continues to reign as the king of shock rock royalty. Definitely an album to haunt not only your Halloween, but your remaining days on this Earth as well.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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