Alice Cooper has released his 26th studio album titled Paranormal. Teaming once again with producer Bob Ezrin, it's Cooper's first non concept record in 12 years. Ironically, it's also his most cohesive piece in that same time frame. Old school guitar sounds fly, with lyrical nods to his past, and he even brings back a few old friends.

From the title track opener, you'll notice a clean, yet not overproduced sound. Over-production has mudded many Alice albums (it happens when you hire studio perfectionists to be in your band) but not Paranormal. "Dead Flies" comes off alike an slight update of Billion Dollar Babies relic "Generation Landslide." (something Cooper actually DID in his hazy early 80's) Known for his bond with Rob Zombie, Alice even takes on a bit of Rob's carnival-like delivery in Dynamite Road. I mean, why remake TOBACCO road when you can just blow it up with dynamite? This song also features the guitar of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.

The last two tracks have a much different feel. It's almost like the first 10 were one album, and the final was a different project. Maybe this is a poetic full-circle for Alice's recording career. On these tracks, the other surviving members of the original band (Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith) return for the first time since 1974's Muscle Of Love. The closing track, "You And All Your Friends" has a final feel to it. Who would blame him? Pushing 70, and able to finish his recording career with the guys he broke out of Arizona with. Plus, to do it with arguably his best record this century? If so, Alice did it.

 

7.5 out of 10.

Key Tracks: Paranoiac Personality, Dynamite Road, You And All Your Friends

 

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