Alice Cooper – Paranormal
Release Date: July 28, 2017
After 26 albums, you would think that at some point and artist would be ready to tap out and call it a day. Well, that someone definitely isn’t Alice Cooper who, for album #27, has dropped the best album he’s made since 1991’s Hey Stoopid. Paranormal is pretty much the Alice Cooper album that I have been waiting on for many years and boy was it ever worth the wait. As usual, Alice chose from a long list of friends to join him on this album such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Roger Glover of Deep Purple, and I was absolutely shocked to learn that drums on this album were handled by U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. I know right? Who knows that this dude could fucking rock as much as he does?
The album kicks off with “Paranormal” which has a nice touch of Trash/Hey Stoopid era Alice Cooper. “Dead Flies” sounds like it could have been a straight up classic era Alice Cooper Group material while “Fireball” had a bit of a modern sounding Alice to it while still managing to keep it rooted in the classic era. Even “Paranoiac Personality” reminds me of something that could have been on Go to Hell. It even sounds a bit like a modern version of “Go to Hell” which I loved hearing him dip into. Gibbons’ distinctive guitar sound cuts through “Fallen in Love” like a hot knife through butter and this song absolutely ripped me a new one.
The bonus tracks featuring the surviving members of the Alice Cooper Band are the real highlights for me. I really enjoyed the fuck out of these songs. “Genuine American Girl” is that old school tongue in cheek that would have been perfectly at home on Billion Dollar Babies while “You and All Your Friends” proves once and for all that you can take the band out of Detroit but you can’t take Detroit out of the band. This particular song is a healthy dose of gnarly, Detroit rock n’ roll and has all of the grit, attitude, and stank that made the classic Alice Cooper Band the band that they were.
Paranormal is a really fucking fun album to listen to and I love how this one seems to cover a lot of bases offering up things for fans of Alice’s more classic sound, his 90’s era, and even his later 2000’s heavier era. Unlike Alice’s previous albums, this one doesn’t really seem to play in any kind of sequence concept. Paranormal is just a collection of truly great songs that has Alice Cooper putting to rest anyone who thinks that after doing this for 40 years that he may be running out of ideas. I would have loved to have heard more material with the classic ACB but maybe this was just a way of testing the waters and giving us a taste? Either way, Paranormal is a really fun listen and it sounds like classic Alice Cooper in 2017.