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“Alice Cooper is not reinventing any wheels here, but “Road” is an enjoyable, even impressive, release from an aging rock star who still, to trade on the album’s theme, has plenty of gas left in his tank”. – Review of Coopers “Road” album posted in the American Songwriter.
Alice Cooper ( aka Vince Fournier before the name change nearly 50 years ago ) an “aging rocker” ?
Yeah, well, maybe. But maybe like 50 year old Kelly Slater who is an “aging” surfer and he’s still one of the very best with two feet firmly planted on top of wax, foam and fiberglass.
And, like the 11 x World Champ, Alice is still one of the very best “aging rockers” with two firmly planted feet encased in snake skin boots stalking a stage – or in a recording studio – and with one his usual crackerjack bands thundering away behind him as his newest release, “Road” certainly proves without a shadow of a doubt.
From the fiery, riff rocking, Tom Morello assisted “White Line Frankenstein”— a tune about a trucker where the “white line” in the lyrics serves double duty as those on the road and sniffed up the nose— to the grinding guitars of “Dead Don’t Dance” (like the rest of these co-written with Ezrin), and the dreamy psychedelic “100 More Miles” about life on the endless highway (All I need is a little more speed and I’m home), Cooper sounds energized and often inspired. Not bad for 75.
As you may surmise, this is a song cycle of sorts, about that age-old trope of touring and “the road” in general. But the songs are solid, the playing never feels rote or postured (well, they could have dropped the drum solo in an otherwise sturdy cover of The Who’s “Magic Bus”), and Coop’s voice hasn’t lost any of its sneering charm.
A cohesively themed album lathered in muti-tiered guitars, anthemic chouses and high-density power riffage, tempered by road-honed dynamism and built for the stage, Road is primarily killer and only a little bit of filler, with Alice tapping into the power he harnessed in his younger days to create a surprisingly inspired collection of new material.
Track 10 : Road Rats Forever / 4:04
It’s worth noting that the songs that created the backbone for the Coop’s rise and continued stardom were collaborations with his original bandmates and producer. His name was one of four or five listed as writers to classics such as “Elected,” “I’m Eighteen,” “School’s Out” and others that have withstood the decades in his live show and created a unique persona that remains active.
Track 03 : All Over The World / 3:52
While Road is no five-star masterpiece, more like a solid four-star, like the recently reissued and expanded Killer or School’s Out collections, Cooper has returned to co-writing the songs with members of his current touring outfit. He also employs producer Bob Ezrin, who notably helped create Cooper’s enduring ’70s work, to craft a 13-track set that is, perhaps unexpectedly, worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as his best.
As you may surmise, this is a song cycle of sorts, about that age-old trope of touring and “the road” in general. But the songs are solid, the playing never feels rote or postured (well, they could have dropped the drum solo in an otherwise sturdy cover of The Who’s “Magic Bus”), and Coop’s voice hasn’t lost any of its sneering charm. – Mez –