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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Alice Cooper

The Last Temptation

Review by Gary Hill

This album is show biz from Cooper. It really feels like much of the high entertainment of `70`s era Cooper, while bringing a new intensity and power to them. This one has plenty of spooky moments along with humor. Alice's band on this album is Stef Burns, Greg Smith, Derek Sherinian and David Uosikkinen.

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Track by Track Review
Side Show
A balladic acoustic guitar intro begins this number. As the electricity kicks in, the song takes on a rock texture somewhat between traditional Cooper and Kiss. The chorus is quite catchy Cooper rooted firmly in his poppier old styles. This one covers some rather Halloweenish lyrical themes at times. "I want a scary ride, see Jekyl turn into Hyde." A creepy ending is achieved with off kilter circus music and a Coop voice that fits it well.
Nothing's Free
With trademark Cooper vocals, this cut is in a very strong hard rock mode. It is quite a powerful rocker with several musical twists and turns. It has some chilling moments --some vocally, some lyrically.
Lost In America
A straightforward rocker with tongue in cheek lyrics, this is a fun one. "I can't get a girl cause I ain't got a car, I can't get a car cause I ain't got a job, I can't get a job cause I ain't got a car, So I'm looking for a girl with a car and a job."
Bad Place Alone
A balladic intro that is rather lushly arranged gives way to a bitingly crunchy guitar line. This cut is about gangland, and, at points, seems to groove much in the mode of Cooper's take on the West Side Story cut Gutter Cats VS. The Jets. In fact, this cut seems to have quite a few musical allusions to vintage Cooper tracks.
You're My Temptation
Another hard-edged Cooper number, this one has some segments with very intriguing arrangements, including a couple Beatlesesque moments.
Stolen Prayer
A mellow, balladic intro leads to a very straightforward rock ballad with a compelling chorus.
Unholy War
Unholy War is a pretty standard hard-edged metallic tune.
Lullaby
Spooky processed spoken words begin this number, which is a very classic sounding Cooper piece, basically written about the boogie man ("I am the one who prowls in your closet, I am the one who lives under your bed."), and a child's reaction to him ("All of the things that I play with in the daylight, You turn in to monsters at night").
It's Me
This pretty acoustic guitar based ballad has very strong Cooper textures, ala Lace and Whiskey era.
Cleansed by Fire
A nice acoustic intro gives very dramatic textures to the beginning of this cut. The number begins to build in intensity. This one is really high drama. It is essentially a standard hard rock number, but with classic Cooper show biz type drama throughout. Creepy sounds end the cut and the album.
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