Alice Cooper – Along Came a Spider (2008)
You have to wonder what happens to musicians once they grow older than the earth itself. Well, sixty-year-old Alice Cooper delivers the answer. They don’t lose their talent to perform (the show I saw a few years back was still amazing), but apparently they have no idea how to create original content anymore. Along Came a Spider was released yesterday and as an old-school rock fan I couldn’t resist to get it immediately. Sadly I have to report that the album didn’t turn out so well. Cooper was once the Prince of Darkness, mothers used to shield their kids from his music and his concept albums (Welcome to my Nightmare) were the things that nightmares were made of. Not anymore. Along Came a Spider sounds like a feeble attempt to channel the golden days, telling the story of a tidy serial killer called Spider, who kills his victims, covers them in a silk web and cuts off one of their legs, to create a human spider. It all goes wrong, when the killer falls in love with one of his victims and …zzzZZZzzz. Sorry I nodded off there for a second. Haven’t we heard these stories a hundred times already?
And what’s up with Cooper’s voice? It didn’t sound this damaged when I saw him on stage. The extreme usage of backing vocals and chorus effects makes it almost impossible to pick him out. The guest appearances of Slash and Ozzy sadly don’t save the record in my opinion. Somebody should be actually shot for the song “Wake the Dead”. And don’t get me started on the sudden fall into Britpop on “Killed by Love”, which is dreadful to say the least. It’s not that Along Came a Spider is musically bad all over; it is just not what I would call an Alice Cooper record (except for the song “Vengeance is Mine”, which is actually pretty cool). All in all I have to say that I’m disappointed in this release and I prefer to listen to his older records and leave this where it belongs, in oblivion.