Welcome 2 My Nightmare

Alice Cooper

Review score: 91%

Review Date: July 2012
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3

I really rate this album. When it came out in the UK I was faced with a decision... Which version to buy? I opted for the Classic Rock magazine limited edition, which came with slightly different bonus tracks, a magazine, and other goodies.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare is the sequel to Alice's classic concept album from 1975, entitled Welcome To My Nightmare. Have to say, this retro sequel really grabbed me in a big way, much more so than the original.

Musically, there is a great deal of variety on this album. Members of the original Alice Cooper Band reunited for this one, and Bob Ezrin is on board, along with a few guests. Its' a winning team, and judging from the music it sounds like they are having fun working together.

Highlights for me include:

I Am Made of You

A fantastic intro to the new album. Haunting piano, reminiscent of the first album (and that old song of theirs 'Steven'), leads us gently into this opening ballad. Feels like a lot of effort went into the lyrics, such as "...I was just a shadow ...I was alone... so cold inside... then I called you from the darkness where I hide..." Alice is describing the incarnation of a monster made out of the blackness inside us all. A beautiful, spooky opener.

Caffeine

Not sure about the first 3 seconds, but then the guitars kick in and Caffeine turns out to be a quirky retro hard rock track. Catchy, troubling lyrics, you can feel the desperation, gotta stay awake at all costs. There's another nightmare coming, and this time it's gonna be bad. Entertaining and just a bit funny. Speaking as someone who used to work all through the night, I can empathise with the characters cries out for 'caffeine, caffeine!"

The Congregation

Well hello, Rob Zombie! Must have been hard to choose a replacement for the late, great, Vincent Price, but they chose well. The chorus will stick in your mind, this is a rhythmic song somewhat in the style of The Beatles, which I believe was Alice's intention all along.

I'll Bite Your Face Off

What a lovely sentiment, she sounds like one helluva girl! This track is in the style of the Rolling Stones, but if I'm entirely honest it reminded me just a little bit of the old ZZ Top sound too. This is a great example of hard rock, and the tune has a habit of sticking in your head. Or to put it another way... earworm alert! The sounds and lyrics conjure up some impressive imagery for the imaginative listener, e.g. "...she licked her lips, they were bloody red ...she pushed me down on a burning bed..."

Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever

Hilarious, you really must give this one a listen. Of course Alice was right there through the 70s, and this disco style song about eternal torment always brings a smile or a chuckle when I hear it. Thankfully I am too young to have been part of the disco scene (thank the Lord!), but for me this track conjures up images of the third Austin Powers movie, Goldmember.

What Baby Wants

A collaboration with Kesha, or Ke$ha if you prefer. It took a few plays for What Baby Wants to grow on me. It really contributes to the album, and Kesha is a great choice to play the role of the Devil in this twisted morality play.

I Gotta Get Outta Here

Another musical twist, this track reminds me of the Travelling WIlburys. It wraps up the story very well, in the story the remaining cast of characters seem to be gleefully tormenting the protagonist Alice. All together now, "What part of 'dead' don't you get?"

Conclusion

As albums go, Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a high quality hard rock album. It sounds very retro at times, (which is good) but the tracks are skilfully woven together to entertain the listener. The 2011 cover art is a clever twist on the first album cover. With masterful lyrics and storytelling coupled with a fantastic rock sound, Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a top quality concept album. Alice Cooper and pals are masters at this sort of sound, and everyone seems to be at the top of their game.

Buy Now! Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3


Track List (may vary)

  • I Am Made Of You
  • Caffeine
  • The Nightmare Returns
  • A Runaway Train
  • Last Man On Earth
  • The Congregation
  • I'll Bite Your Face Off
  • Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
  • Ghouls Gone Wild
  • Something To Remember Me By
  • When Hell Comes Home
  • What Baby Wants
  • I Gotta Get Outta Here
  • The Underture
  • We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (not on all editions)

With my edition I got a couple of extra tracks instead of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place:

  • Under the Bed
  • Poison (Live from Download)