Alice Cooperat the registry office Vincent Damon Furnier, is undoubtedly the king of shock rock and grandguignol. From his 1969 recording debut (“Pretties For You”), Cooper has cultivated an inexhaustible and still strong career, churning out albums on a regular basis and building an ever-widening following. Today the ‘boy’ turns 76, his latest album, “Road”, dates back to last summer. Here follows our review of the Detroit rocker’s latest effort.
Over two years after paying homage to his hometown with “Detroit stories”, Alice Cooper returns with a new album, “Road”. This time, the 75-year-old musician has decided to take advantage of all the experiences of his over fifty-year career and tell the story of life “on the road” with a record.
During his artistic adventure, combining horror suggestions and hard rock experiments, as well as presenting a strong idea of theatricality and stories of characters out of the ordinary, Vincent Damon Furnier has shaped with Alice Cooper one of the most impactful and incisive figures in history of rock.
Over the years, the musician originally from Detroit has developed shows by distorting reality with the characters of the fantastic, as in a work of surrealism with live music. To best capture the frenzy, impetuosity and extravagance of life “on the road” that an artist like him may have experienced, Mr. Furnier releases an album, “Road”, recorded playing live in the studio, with the support of his band. In Alice Cooper’s intentions, as he also underlined to Rockol, the album is also a way to “show off the skill” of the group who has been alongside him for some time, made up of Ryan Roxie (guitar), Chuck Garric (bass), Tommy Henrikson (guitar), Glen Sobel (drums) and Nita Strauss (guitar). With around thirty studio works under his belt in his entire career, more than fifty years after the release of two of the best-known albums of his historic lineup, “School’s out” (1972) and “Billion Dollar Babies” (1973 ), now Vincent Furnier takes the listener on a journey through the music, words and characters of Alice Cooper. Around him recognizable style, and in collaboration with the long-time producer Bob Ezrin, the musician weaves the plots of a collection of rock and roll stories and tales. “Road” is therefore a record of hard rock songs, such as “Rules of the road”, with the guitars as protagonists, but also of ballads such as “Baby please don’t go”, in which immediacy emerges together with references to the classics. While the protagonist of the concept is none other than Alice.
“So let me introduce you to a friend of mine / I’m Alice – I’m the master of madness; The sultan of surprise”, reads a passage from “I’m Alice”, the opening track and first single from “Road”. The curtain thus opens on the protagonist, Mr. Furnier’s alter ego, who immediately steals the scene and weaves the plot of this traveling show through old school sounds, with Alice Cooper’s scratched and recognizable voice, not immune to the signs of time, but still with intact personality. Classic and unscathed is the rough and compact sound, without refinement, which honors the artist’s intent to create an album “with songs played and recorded live in the studio” to tell the story of life on the road, on tour and on stages, focusing on spectacularization and technique.
The guitar attack of “Welcome to the show” and “All over the world”, concerts and situations told by the protagonist himself, between anecdotes and clichés, confirm the elements on which the story and structure of “Road” are built, therefore capable of satisfying fans, without distorting Alice Cooper’s intact creativity. From the most predictable episodes and the most immediate rhythms, we move on to new heavy sounds together with typical horror scenarios with “Dead don’t dance”, up to the more retro suggestions of “White line Frankenstein”, with its direct reference “Feed my Frankenstein”, among Alice Cooper’s most popular songs, and the support of Tom Morello.
In also being a sort of retrospective of Vincent Furnier’s career and music, “Road” includes other quotes from Alice’s repertoire and to also underline her live spirit, the tracklist presents “Road rats forever”, a new version of “ Road rats” from “Lace and whiskey” in 1977. With the rock and roll of “Rules of the road”, in which the extravagant and unconventional protagonist of the album lists “a whole series of things to do on tour, which are totally wrong” – as explained by Alice Cooper, the live music and “the road” lead between the words and the romantic atmosphere of “Baby please don’t go”, one of the most interesting moments of the album with “100 more miles” , up to the cover of “Magic bus” by The Who.