Release Date: Sep 13, 2011
Record label: Hip-O
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
On 1975's Welcome to My Nightmare, Alice Cooper largely traded in high school parking-lot hard rock for fright-show theater; it had bruising moments, but also self-parodying schmaltz. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is its sequel, so we get recurring bad-dream rockers, plus an "Underture" that melds Cooper's melodies into a symphonic montage. The fun comes when he abandons the sequel concept in favor of a New Wave duet with Ke$ha and a decades- tardy anti-disco tune ("Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever") in which Alice tries to rap.
Alice Cooper may not have had a hit single in two decades but he’s hardly kept quiet during the two decades that separate 1991’s Hey Stoopid and 2011’s Welcome 2 My Nightmare. In addition to his quite good syndicated radio show he’s regularly recorded new records, some getting positive notice, some sinking into obscurity, but none have had quite the high profile of Welcome 2 My Nightmare, an explicit sequel to 1975’s Welcome to My Nightmare that re-teams Alice with producer Bob Ezrin along with such Alice Cooper band veterans as Dick Wagner, Steve Hunter, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith. Given these blasts from the past, it would seem that Welcome 2 My Nightmare would be a throwback to the ‘70s, but one of the great unspoken things about Alice Cooper is that he always makes records that sound like their time and this is no exception, with Ezrin pumping Alice through enough Auto-Tune to compete with Kesha, who happens to be brought in for a duet on the metallic bubblegum “What Baby Wants.
Alice Cooper can still draw crowds to his theatrical shlock-horror stage shows, but many would rather submit to his mock guillotine than listen to his later records. However, by reuniting some of his 70s musicians with Bob Ezrin, producer of 1975's classic Welcome to My Nightmare, he has rediscovered his mojo. The sequel nods to the old glam stomp but is a thoroughly inventive, modern-sounding record, with unlikely shifts ranging from an Auto-Tuned ballad to Tom Waits-style vaudeville to classical/opera and even a duet with Ke$ha.
The good news is that Alice Cooper has issued a new greatest-hits collection. The bad news is that he’s released it as a supposedly new album that’s a sequel to one of his most famous hits. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is allegedly a sequel to Alice’s landmark 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare, except what it really becomes is a rehashing of Alice Cooper’s best musical moments replayed over, only without the freshness or energy.