I’m of two minds about Alice Cooper’s upcoming album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, a “sequel” to his classic solo debut album that harkens back to his earlier sound. Let me say the positive stuff first: I’m glad Alice is getting away from the industrial Rob Zombie Jr. sound that’s dominated his output lately. Like a lot of great artists, Alice helped define a genre of music with an original sound and a bold live act, however once the genre moved on, he started chasing the trends like everyone else in an effort to stay relevant. That’s not to say he sucks or anything negative like that, it’s a trap indisputably great musicians have fallen into, just take a look at the career of The Rolling Stones. Granted, he does do a track with Ke$ha (gawd I hate hitting the “$” when typing her name) on this new record, but at least he’s not trying to sound like the younger talent he’s inspired, doing a song with Ke$ha seems less predictable than what he’s been doing in the past two decades. It’s also good to see he’s paired up with producer Bob Ezrin again, the two have made some incredible records over the years.
But here’s the thing, it always strikes me as creatively bankrupt to retreat to the territory of whatever it is that made you so successful in the first place, and it’s even more bankrupt to put a fucking number 2 in lieu of the word “to.” Let’s put that stupid trend to bed, shall we? Artists returning to their roots when their new stuff hasn’t been connecting with audiences always seems like they’re playing it safe. The difference here is that Alice gets a pass because he’s been at it for so long, and he’s earned his status as one of the most beloved figures in metal. This is going to be his twenty-sixth studio record, so if he wants to do a throwback, he’s earned it, I don’t expect him to redefine himself at this stage in his career. But doing a play on one of his greatest records seems cheap, and “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” sounds like one of the more generic tunes off an old Alice record, but I guess it beats sounding like one of the more generic tunes off a new Alice record like Along Came a Spider. We’ll see how it turns out.
I should also note that this cover makes me sad