Alice Cooper - Dragontown review
04. Sex, Death And Money
05. Fantasy Man
06. Somewhere In The Jungle
08. Sister Sara
09. Every Woman Has A Name
10. I Just Wanna Be God
11. It's Much Too Late
12. I Am The Sentinel
Say what you want about Mr. Cooper, but the man knows how to keep up with the times. While it doesn't always work out to the best advantage, he always knows how to keep his signature sound in amongst this change.
Dragontown is the second part in his Brutal Planet saga which is based around the simple concept of morality and sin - the lyrical content of the album having the ability to be interpreted in many different ways. With this Brutal Planet saga we see the music of Alice Cooper ironically borrow a lot of different qualities from his successors in the shock rock genre. Any trace of the proto-punk sound that remained in Alice's music for quite some time is almost completely washed away and replaced by heavy metal riffs with a touch of industrial thrown in; a la Rob Zombie. The impressive part about this direction Alice has taken his music in is just how natural it sounds, as if he's been playing this style for ages. One song that sticks out as a great example of how comfortable Alice Cooper sounds with this type of music is the track "Disgraceland" - a dark humoured tale about Elvis Presley, where he manages to combine rockabilly, heavy metal, and the previously mentioned touch of industrial, all put together seamlessly. Though there's nothing groundbreaking about any aspects of the album, the production and musicianship is damn near flawless - nothing seems out of place, no instruments dominate annoyingly over one another.
As good as Dragontown is, there seems to be the same flaws that can be found in almost every Alice Cooper album. The first being that the album is almost a 50/50 mix of instant classics, and boring fillers. The temptation to hit the skip button on a lot of songs will be hard to resist. Songs where the riffs just sound overused, or the song in general lacks any climax point. The second problem simply being that no matter what new twists Alice throws into his music, he can't seem to create anything unpredictable or mind blowing anymore. This can either be seen as him sticking to his guns, or stagnation, but there's no argument that this album will offer no surprises.
This is Alice Cooper adapting to the times. If you like Alice Cooper, you'll enjoy this album, if you don't like him, then you won't. Simple as that.
|Alice Cooper boldly announced his continued relevance in the 21st century with the scathing, murderous Brutal Planet - an unprecedentedly heavy album that told us all to sit down, shut up, and hope for death. Sensing the pure genius of this formula, Alice dredged up from hell another album's worth of material done in the same style. Dragontown is another brutal slideshow of death and destruction laid overtop cold, industrial riffs, and therefore should be examined primarily as a counterpart to Brutal Planet.
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