Paranormal is the 27th release from the legendary king of shock rock, Alice Cooper, and his first new studio outing since 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare. With twelve new studio tracks, two of which feature the appearance of the surviving members of the original Alice Cooper Band for the first time together since the '70s, Paranormal sees the vocalist once again at the top of game with no slowing down in sight. Produced by long time collaborator Bob Ezrin and featuring members of Cooper's current touring band as well as guests Roger Glover, Billy Gibbons, and many more, its a rousing and enjoyable effort that will easily please long time fans.
These days, it's important to grab the listener right off the bat on any new album, and Alice does just that with the strong 1-2-3 punch of the moody "Paranormal", the creepy & hard hitting "Dead Flies", and the fast paced "Fireball". "Paranoiac Personality" has a modern heavy metal/hard rock vibe but with a clear nod to the '70s, rich with Cooper's still strong vocals and plenty of fat guitar riffs, and the more bluesy "Fallen in Love" sees ZZ Top maestro Gibbons dueling guitar licks with current band axe-wielders Tommy Denander & Tommy Henriksen. The raging "Dynamite Road" rocks hard, while the groove laden "Private Public Breakdown" has more of a pop flair, followed by the upbeat "Holy Water", Cooper's penchant for mixing rock with Broadway style bombast once again making an appearance. Rounding out the regular CD is the energetic rocker "Rats" and the atmospheric & moody "The Sound of A", the latter almost like a head on collision of vintage Alice Cooper and The Doors.
The bonus disc contains two new songs by the surviving members of the '70s Alice Cooper band, including Michael Bruce, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway, Steve Hunter, as well as additional guitars from the current members and Ezrin on keyboards. Though perhaps not as strong as some of the tunes from the rest of the album, "Genuine American Girl" and "You and All Your Friends" are both a lot of fun and quite catchy numbers, and it's great to hear the old band back together again. The remainder of the CD includes some recent live renditions of classic tunes from Alice's catalog, including a scorching "Feed My Frankenstein", and red hot versions of "School's Out" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy". Too bad flashy guitarist Nina Strauss only appears on these live tracks on not on the regular album, but overall Paranormal is a fun album and further proof of just how much this ageless rocker still has left in the tank.
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02. Dead Flies
04. Paranoiac Personality
05. Fallen In Love
06. Dynamite Road
07. Private Public Breakdown
08. Holy Water
10. The Sound Of A
New studio recordings with the original ALICE COOPER band:
11. Genuine American Girl
12. You And All Of Your Friends
Live in Columbus, Ohio, May 6, 2016 with the current ALICE COOPER band:
13. No More Mr. Nice Guy
14. Under My Wheels
15. Billion Dollar Babies
16. Feed My Frankenstein
17. Only Women Bleed
18. School's Out