Alice Cooper: Paranormal


Alice Cooper

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Alice Cooper’s latest (and 27th) studio album, Paranormal sees the original shock rocker back with a cast of guest musicians and collaborators including big time rock-super producer/ long-time Cooper collaborator, Bob Ezrin, U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr. playing drums on the first ten tracks and many more surprises.

The title track features Roger Glover (bassist from Deep Purple) manning the low end on a tune with big dramatic opening power riffs, that roll into low chunking verses that Cooper talks-sings over. “Dead Flies” features more big power chords plus snare snappin’. “Fallen In Love” has ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons leading the country rock stomp strut, on what is the most commercial song of the first ten.

The best for me here is the swirling power-chord-driven’ “Private Public Breakdown.” It’s true sardonic rock, right in the pocket of the Ezrin and Cooper’s best. Scary atmospheric keys and guitar embellishments inform the last track of the ‘regular’ album here. “The Sound Of A,” has noodling as progressive rock as Cooper and Ezrin will get, and the guitar playing is top notch, almost David Gilmour-like.

Tracks 11 and 12 tease with the long-promised Alice Cooper Band reunion (with original members, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, and Michael Bruce contribute) on two songs they all wrote with Cooper: “Genuine American Girl,” pretty much a straight ahead lightly effective rocker, and “You and All of Your Friends,” a tune about the threat of Cooper coming into your city to end the world.

The last six tracks here are live cuts recorded at one of Alice Cooper’s 2016 shows. Classic Cooper tracks like “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies and “Schools Out” are included.

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