Sound: Alice Cooper's sound evolved from that of "Trash" to being slightly heavier and more aggressive. It still has the late 80's hair/glam metal sound on many of the tracks, such as "Feed My Frankenstein", but other tracks such as "Snakebite" are distinctly heavier on his 1991 album "Hey Stoopid". There are also a few great ballads on this album, with "Might As Well Be On Mars" in particular being truly outstanding. Interestingly enough, some of the tracks run into the next one, creating one big "super-song". However, each track can be listened to entirely independently of the others. Overall, this album is a turning point in musical styles - there is definitely the recognisable Eighties pop-metal sound to the album, but it is mixed in with a heavier, more agressive Nineties-style edge.
It features an incredible array of guest musicians, including Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Satriani, Nikki Sixx, Vinnie Moore, Steve Vai and Mick Mars and songwriting input from Al Pitrelli. As a result, the musicianship on this album is of the highest order. You can definitely describe this as being a culmination of what the best of rock and metal had to offer at the time. // 10
Lyrics: It's Alice Cooper - don't expect anything nice. The lyrics here are as creepy, wierd and as crude as Alice Cooper likes. There are some more powerful, deeper songs, such as "Might As Well Be On Mars" and "Burning Our Bed" which deal with unrequited love and break-ups and the like, as well as the anti-drugs song "Hey Stoopid", which are a refreshing deviation from the usual shock-rock lyrical themes that we all expect from Alice Cooper. However, there is plenty on here to make your mother faint - it's not one to play at a baptism gathering.
It's a job well done by Alice - he maintains his usual standards and also delves into more serious, deeper stuff. His vocals are of his usual standard - distincitive, although not particularly outstanding in delivery. It might just be personal taste, but I've never been overly impressed by Alice's voice - he's good, but he's no Sebastian Bach or Mike Matijevic by any means. The backing vocals are particularly effective - any fans of the chorus in "Poison" are in for more of the same throughout this album - there are some excellent choruses. Again, it is a case of a job well done. // 8
Overall Impression: This was Alice Cooper's follow up to the hugely successful "Trash". It is just as worthy, if not more so, of the high esteem in which it is held. It certainly stands out amongst the multitude of other hard rock albums released at the time as an example of brilliantly written songs combined with stunning musicianship. Alice has released a large variety of albums over the years, making comparison between them not so easy. However, it is safe to say that this is definitely one of his better ones, if not his best. It has produced some classic songs with "Hey Stoopid" and "Feed My Frankenstein", and displays a great range of musical styles and themes.
Particular highlights include:
"Hey Stoopid" - featuring Slash, Joe Satriani and Ozzy Osbourne, this song has one of the most memorable rock n' roll choruses of all time. It's definitely one to remember and sing along to.
"Love's A Loaded Gun" - is a powerful track, and a brilliantly written song. One of Alice Cooper's more serious, less shock-rock songs on the album.
"Might As Well Be On Mars" - is a moving, dramatic masterpiece of a ballad that is extremely well written and is one of Alice Cooper's less well known gems.
"Feed My Frankenstein" - of Wayne's World fame, this song has one of the most rockin' riffs ever written and a classic Alice Cooper chorus, as well as excellent lead guitar work from Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. It also features Nikki Sixx on bass. Alice Cooper and his highly esteemed friends at their very best.
"Hurricane Years" - another excellent riff and a brilliant chorus as well as excellent guitar work from Vinnie Moore make this one hell of a track, definitley one of the best on the album.
"Little By Little" - if this song doesn't get stuck in your head with its infectious drum beat and memorable chorus, then you haven't pressed Play. Again, Joe Satriani features in this song.
There are a couple of weak points - "Dangerous Tonight", "Dirty Dreams" and "Wind-Up Toy" are, although creepily disturbing vintage Alice, not as good as Alice's best material. Indeed, as album endings go, "Wind-Up Toy" is particularly disappointing.
It is a solid effort from Alice Cooper, and considering it follows on from "Trash", certainly cements Alice Cooper's legendary status into the foundations of rock n' roll history. Not all of the tracks are great, but those that are (and that is the majority) are absolutley brilliant. Definitely an album for all rock n' roll fans to prioritise and put in their collection if it isn't there all ready. // 10