Not that anyone would ever need reminding, but Alice Cooper does just that of who he is and what he’s about on the anthemic tribal beat opener “I’m Alice,” leading off his 22nd solo album Road. Tunes like “Welcome To The Show” and “All Over The World,” with its cool horn bleats, continue to peel back the story of how Cooper and his longtime band — guitarists Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henrikson and Nita Strauss, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel on drums — take to touring. The singer claims the band is the true backbone of the writing here, and it sounds it. There is quality to these rockers where it feels like everybody is onboard together, and not just a bunch of players simply playing behind Alice Cooper.
Collaborating once again with producer Bob Ezrin, Cooper stacks the deck for a solid release. There’s “Dead Don’t Dance,” featuring guitarist Kane Roberts; “White Line Frankenstein” with its spot-on-singalong chorus and featuring Rage Against The Machine’s’ Tom Morello (who cowrote and sings backing vocals); and the bass-heavy, ragtime piano-infused “Big Boots,” delivering that wonderful tongue-in-cheek Alice Cooper we know and love.
We get an update on the classic roadie tribute tune “Road Rats Forever,” kind of a part two to “Road Rats” from 1977’s Lace and Whiskey album. We get a sweet slow ballad with “Baby Please Don’t Go,” and close with a heavy rockin’ cover of The Who’s “Magic Bus.” Sure, there are some banal audience-grabbing stage song lyrics at the beginning of the album, and Cooper as much talks as sings here. However, things get slyer and deeper as we get taken down the Road.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.