This album, Alice’s 27th, has all the ingredients of a rock classic. It has Bob Ezrin on the production end, an all star cast consisting of Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Roger Glover (Deep Purple), and Larry Mullens (U2), and it has three of the original Alice Cooper Band members on a couple of the numbers. Alice Cooper had the best bands in the 70s, bar none!, Musically, it is tight rock with groove/blues infusions.This album picks up where Dirty Diamonds leaves off.
The title track may actually be the only song about the paranormal on this album. It depicts a man who has died, trying to reach out to his still-alive spouse or lover. I could not get enough of this infectious song. Another one worth mentioning is “Fallen In Love,” with the line: “I’ve fallen in love and I can’t get up.” This is the only song touching on erectile dysfunction that I am aware. Am I wrong?!? How hard is it to write a song like that? 🙂 There is also a bonus track called “Genuine American Girl,” about a transgendered person. There are some good topics making an appearance, as to be expected.
So what is not to love about Paranormal? All the elements of a great album are intact. The lyrics are witty and well-written, and there is good touring material on here. I liked the album from beginning to end. And yet, here is the kicker…I can not give this album the royalty treatment it deserves. Why, you might ask? Well, here is what I think:
Rock & Roll has a legacy of being unsafe, risky, and rebellious. It is not the stuff you iron your clothes to. Rather, it is the stuff you tear the house apart with, or drive down the highway with heads reelin’ and hands in the air. Early pioneers like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis had opposition, as did The Stones, The Beatles, The Who, Led Zep, and the list goes on and on. This was the music of new freedom and identity. Rock music risked everything to be irreverent as well as revelatory. Today, music is sanitary and predictable.
Now, do not misunderstand me. I still think Alice Cooper rocks incredibly well, even in his 70s. But I want to see Alice Cooper do an album that breaks new ground. Alice was the original shock-rocker in the 70s, and he earned that reputation. What if Alice did something no one expected him to do? Like record an album with Eagles of Death Metal as the backing band? Or do an album with another well-known musician of another musical genre? Or record an album of early rock and blues covers? We all know Alice Cooper is not afraid of snakes and guillotines, But what gets under Alice Cooper’s skin? I want an Alice Cooper album with the man behind the make-up. I am willing to bet fans would eat up an album like this. Bring it on![2017 earMUSIC | Purchase: alicecooper.com]