CD Review: Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare

In 1975, Alice Cooper released one of my favorite albums of all time, Welcome To My Nightmare. It was the first solo Alice Cooper album as earlier albums had been done by the band of the same name which featured Alice on vocals, Dennis Dunaway on bass, Neal Smith on drums and Michael Bruce on guitar. Now, three and a half decades later, Alice has released a sequel to this classic album title Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Ironically, Alice reunites the original band on several songs.

The album also features producer Bob Ezrin who was instrumental in the creation of the first Nightmare album. The album features many other guests including guitarist Steve Hunter who played on the earlier album as well as Mark Volman of the Turtles, John 5 of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie's band and Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. Two of the most interesting guests are pop star Ke$ha who portrays the Devil and Rob Zombie picking up where Vincent Price left off on the original Nightmare.

The songs on Welcome 2 My Nightmare feature a variety of styles running from the bluesy ramble of "A Runaway Train" which features the original Alice Cooper band line-up to the classic rock style of "The Congregation" and "I'll Bite Your Face Off", songs that bring to mind bands such as The Beatles, Mott the Hoople and The Rolling Stones. You might think that these variations would make for a unconnected jumble of an album, but Alice is a master of bringing together seemingly dissimilar elements to form a comprehensive whole that somehow works together on all levels.

So you are probably wondering if this Nightmare lives up to the awesomeness of the first Welcome To My Nightmare. But that is a hard question to answer. My first impression is that while this is an incredible record and definitely Alice's best in awhile, it is not quite up to the standards pf the first Nightmare. But ultimately we will have to wait and see how the album stands up over time before making a final decision on its place in rock history.

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