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Alice Cooper

The Eyes of Alice Cooper

Review by Gary Hill

Alice Cooper has never been the most consistent artist. When he has it right he is brilliant. Works like "Welcome To My Nightmare", "Love it to Death" and, most recently "Brutal Planet" are prime examples. Sometimes he falls extremely flat - "Trash", "Zipper Catches Skin" and "Muscle of Love" being discs that fall into this category. More often than not he wanders somewhere in between with moments of brilliance on the album separated by more banal material. Many times the weakness comes from when he follows recent trends in music far too closely. Such is the case with this album.

On "The Eyes of Alice Cooper", the make-upped one seems to be trying to hard to capitalize on the success of the recent garage band craze highlighted by bands like The White Stripes. Most of the album falls into this sort of arena. It is not bad material, just quite basic, and lacking that trademark twisted Alice charm. The last disc, "Dragon Town" was definitely not up to the brilliant "Brutal Planet" that it followed, but it had a lot more going for it than this one. In fact, this one really only has two standout cuts. The first is called "This House Is Haunted" and features the patented Cooper creepiness. It is probably one of the cooler cuts the man has ever produced. The other is "The Song That Didn't Rhyme". Musically, this one is interesting, if a bit basic, but the lyrics really put it over the top. There is only one real dog on the disc, the overly syrupy ballad "Be With You Awhile". This one is definitely among the worst ballads the man has ever produced.

The bottom line is, while this is far from Alice Cooper at his best, there are a couple songs to make it worth the while of his fans. And, except for "Be With You Awhile", there is no really bad material. Let's hope Alice's next is another classic, and the tour, as always will be magical.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
What Do You Want From Me?
This one finds Alice taking on a stripped down bare bones rock sound. The chorus is cool, but the cut is a bit generic.
Between High School and Old School
This is a rather hard-edged rocker that's main redeeming factors are the clever title and a cool rock and rolling outro.
Man of the Year
This cut is a punky number -not bad, but nothing special.
This is one of the most generic rockers of the album, only Cooper's vocal performance saves it from total mediocrity.
Bye, Bye Baby
Another that is quite generic, this is definitely listenable, but not very memorable. The chorus, though, with its horn section, is a cool nod to old Alice.
Be With You Awhile
This is arguably the most syrupy and weakest ballad Mr. Cooper has ever done. It's the weakest point on the album. Even the somewhat clever lyrics can't save this one.
Detroit City
This one is a bit better than most of the disc, kind of a punky take on old-school Alice. It would be a weak track on many Cooper albums, but shines here.
Spirits Rebellious
This is a harder edged more metallic cut this is one of the more interesting tracks on the album. It has a tendency to grow on you.
This House is Haunted
By far the best track on the album, this is one of the creepiest songs Alice has ever done. It would be a strong contribution to any disc, and may well be worth the price of admission here. I would put this one right up with "The Ballad Of Dwight Fry" or any of the old tunes. It's a shame that we didn't get more like this one.
Love Should Never Feel Like This
This one is just a bit quirky and feels pretty strong here, but would pale on most other Cooper CD's. The verse segment on this one, at times feeling a bit like the Munsters theme song, is what really saves it, as the chorus is very weak. The bridge, although based on a riff that feels a bit too familiar, is a strong point too.
The Song That Didn't Rhyme
Ok, the lyrics here are very clever and Cooper's delivery is spot on. Still, I can't explain what else the track has, but it's a definite winner to this reviewer. It's quite fun.
I'm So Angry
This feels a lot like Guns N Roses, and is a fiery cut. Not really exceptional, but this is entertaining enough to make it a standout here.
Backyard Brawl
More G'N'Rish modes make up this hard rocker. It's another strong point here, but not all that special.
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