Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare (Universal) review by Allen Roenker
Alice Cooper has been dreaming again. 1975 saw the release of the Bob Ezrin-produced Welcome To My Nightmare, Alice’s first solo outing after leaving the other members of the original Alice Cooper band behind. Collecting the twisted tales and disturbing dreams of “Steven,” the album became an instant classic and helped cement Alice as one of the masters of the macabre. 36 years later, Alice once again has been joined by Bob Ezrin (and other special guests) to unleash another round of nocturnal mind games. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a return to form of what Alice does best.
The opening track, “I Am Made Of You,” starts with an almost “Exorcist” style piano and paints a picture of someone who is afraid to face their insecurities but finds comfort in the realization that they can carry on knowing the listener is along for the ride. Also along for the ride are the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band (Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway & Neal Smith) on the tracks “A Runaway Train,” “When Hell Comes Home,” and the first single “I’ll Bite Your Face Off.” Alice still delivers that classic growl as he sings about the need for a stimulant in “Caffeine,” brings out his vaudevillian-style schmaltz on “Last Man On Earth” and showcases his softer side (ala “Only Women Bleed”) on the ballad “Something To Remember Me By.” Songs like “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” and “Ghouls Gone Wild” are as fun as their titles suggest, while “The Congregation” (detailing Alice’s tour through Hell) and “When Hell Comes Home” (dealing with domestic violence) are two of the set’s best. Rob Zombie and Vince Gill make guest appearances as well as what some might think would be a nightmare-inducing collaboration (songwriting and singing) with Ke$ha on the song “What Baby Wants,” but actually works as one of the album’s standouts. Closing with “The Underture,” an orchestral instrumental using bits of music from both the original Nightmare and this sequel; it serves as a perfect closing track and ties the two albums together nicely. No, you are not dreaming. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is a great Alice Cooper record and should be in every fan’s collection. Sweet dreams.