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Alice Cooper: Paranormal (2017) - Review

“PARANORMAL” TRACK LIST 1. Paranormal 2. Dead Flies 3. Fireball 4. Paranoiac Personality 5. Fallen In Love 6. Dynamite Road 7. Private Public Breakdown 8. Holy Water 9. Rats 10. The Sound Of A

Bonus CD New studio recordings with the Original Alice Cooper Band

1. Genuine American Girl 2. You And All Of Your Friends

Live in Columbus, Ohio (2016) with the current Alice Cooper band 3. No More Mr. Nice Guy 4. Under My Wheels 5. Billion Dollar Babies 6. Feed My Frankenstein 7. Only Woman Bleed 8. School’s Out

Alice Cooper is back with Paranormal, his first album of new material in six years. The album is available in multiple formats and most streaming services. I will be reviewing the boxed set, which is comprised of the Paranormal album along with a bonus disc containing 6 live tracks and the highly anticipated mini reunion of The Original Alice Cooper Band. Paranormal was produced by long-time collaborator Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Deep Purple), and features guests like ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover.

Leading up to the album’s release, I’ve read how Alice Cooper had been saying that this latest album has a general 70’s feel to it; even comparing Paranormal to his 1971 classic album, Killer. Well, after listening to the record, I can honestly say that I hear some of what he had talked about, except it really isn’t the second coming of Killer. Still, just because the album isn’t the second coming of Killer, that doesn’t mean that Paranormal is a disappointment. It’s still a very entertaining listen and proves that Alice hasn’t lost his touch. The album has numerous highlights, like the haunting title track or the dark, decadent hypnotic Paranoiac Personality, the melodic Private Public Breakdown, the Jimi Hendrix influenced Dead Flies & the blues rocker, Fallen in Love. In fact, the two new tracks on the bonus disc, from the Alice Cooper Band, are just fantastic and I hope that one day we get a completely new album from these guys. The live tracks are awesome as well, and go to show that Alice can still put on a great show.

Alice Cooper’s 27th studio album may not be a classic, but it still ranks as one of his better latter day releases. In my opinion, the only flaw with Paranormal is this: his strongest albums are those that are based upon a theme, narrative or concept (Welcome to My Nightmare, Welcome 2 to My Nightmare, Along Came a Spider, The Last Temptation). Although the 10 stand-alone songs that encompass Paranormal are quite good, I could only imagine how much more satisfying the record could have been had Alice Cooper and Bob Ezrin made Paranormal into a “concept” album. It’s Alice’s take on the paranoid and paranormal that make this album so entertaining to begin with. Those narratives and Alice go hand in hand, and with Ezrin behind the boards, that my friends, sounds like a classic Alice Cooper album.

All in all, besides that one misstep , Paranormal is still a solid release from one of the Masters.

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