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Cherry Pop

Title - ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’ (UMe)
Artist - Alice Cooper

Every great production deserves a sequel – even if comes 35-plus years after the original!

And so Alice Cooper's widely anticipated new album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original multi-platinum Welcome To My Nightmare album (1975), picks up right where they left off - with Alice trapped in his own warped mind!

We begin the nightmare with 'I Am Made Of You,' a song that (seemingly) starts off with a little bout of the Halloween-film score! A song that doesn't come screaming out at you, its melodic vibe is a surprise, and a welcome one at that. Next is the frantic 'Caffeine,' before the Halloween-film score piano is back within the two minute 'The Nightmare Returns.'

A barnstorming 'A Runaway Train' is next, with the oddly-out-of-place 'Last Man On Earth' following behind. Coming across as the red-headed step brother of a long lost sideshow, the track is different, that's for sure! The Oasis-sounding 'The Congregation' is an anthem of a song if ever there was, before the poppy, 'I'll Bite Your Face Off' is sprung on us.

But oh dear, the rap-fused 'Disco Bloodbath Boogie' is just plain hard to listen to, and is definitely a track that demeans this album. And, just when you hope that a song titled 'Ghouls Gone Wild' would go a long way - if only for the title - in salvaging some musical pride back for Cooper, it doesn't! Indeed, the hole gets deeper as it would have slotted into a 2011 version 'Grease' quite easily!

The slow, sweetly sung 'Something To Remember Me By' is quite possibly, if only for my money, the best track on this new album. The harder, more demented Cooper comes out to play in 'When Hell Comes Home' (a sad tale of domestic abuse), before a cracklin,' and totally left of center duet with Ke$ha on 'What Baby Wants.'

Church bells toll for the album filler 'I Gotta Get Outta Here,' with the album being rounded out by 'The Underture.' A near six-minute instrumental full of musical hills and valleys, is there a need for such a thing as an album closer? Well, not in my eyes, sorry, but it does wrap this MOR album up perfectly, I guess!

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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