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Free stuff people send me to spray my Juice on
Written by: Alex Sandell
Free Thing # 6
"I'm not a Mormon freak,
I'm not a Catholic geek, and I'm nothing at all like you."
About a year ago, a thrilled me did a review of Alice Cooper's CD, "Brutal Planet". When I received a copy of the CD, I had been a huge Alice fan for well over a decade, but, ironically enough, hadn't liked any of the CDs he had released in well over a decade. That all changed with, "Brutal Planet". I loved the CD, and gave it a gushingly great critique. Unfortunately, I will not be able to do the same thing for "DragonTown". No matter how many times I listen to the CD, it makes me think only one thing . . . it's time for Alice Cooper to take an adrenaline shot. While it still tops most of the crap he's done in the past 15 years, it is SUCH a letdown when compared to "Brutal Planet" (or any of his classic stuff from the seventies, or weird alternative stuff from the early eighties). Just when I thought Alice had finally come around, he pulls a 180, and releases, "DragonTown". Prior to hearing the CD, I was bummed to see he was playing casinos, rather than concert halls, but after hearing the album, I'm starting to think a casino is where he belongs . . . it's a nice place where he can hang out and play with the other over-the-hill seniors (a bonus for Alice is that a lot of casinos are located in close proximity to golf courses). Anyway, the album isn't a total loss, and it's time to spray my juice over each song, and see where it sticks:
"I am the triggerman. I am the underhand. I'll keep you on your knees. I am the brain police." Not as powerful a start to the record as the song "Brutal Planet" was to the "Brutal Planet" CD, but still a great beginning to a not-so-great CD. Features an energetic, catchy chorus that sticks in your brain like images of the Twin Towers collapsing. Unfortunately, the song begins to crumble at the end, when it introduces a "Ballroom Blitz" like finale, with an idiotic guitar solo behind it.
8 (on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. And, if you didn't know that 10 is the best, you should probably go shoot yourself.)
"The elevator broke. It went right through the floor. It left a burning hole. Our helpless panic grows. Down and down and down we go." Those lyrics are far creepier than they deserve to be, due to the events of 9-11. Maybe Alice is the next Nostradamus. That would be weird. It's strange how we see and hear things in a way that we never would have on, say, September TENTH, for example. The song itself is alright, but it's pretty slow, and too damn gothy. Sounds like the slow Marylin Manson stuff I hate so much.
Pre September 11th rating: 5 Post September 11th rating: 7
"Here you are, lying bleeding on the street. See the broken glass, sparkling darkly as it cuts your feet. Feel the toxic flames, all around you, you can hardly breathe." Okay, so Alice is the next Nostradamus. With that established, we can conclude that Nostradamus wasn't a very good songwriter. It's almost as though this song was created solely to prove to itself that it could be slower than the last song on this CD. I sorta dig the lyrics (the reference to "Pick Up the Bones" was totally groovy), so I'm going to give it a five, but it doesn't deserve it.
Sex, Death and Money:
"When I go to the show, all I see on the screen is a stream of pure vulgarity. I wrote down a note, I complained for a day to the house of representatives. They laughed in my face, they said 'son you're a one in a million minority. The name of the game is to titillate the brain, stimulate the immorality.'" Another attempt to reach Marylin Manson's level of grueling musical boredom. This time, even the lyrics, which are stupid (are they meant to be ironic? Tongue in cheek? If you listen to the entire song, they almost sound serious.), can't save it. What happened to Alice's GROWL? His voice sounds too digitally crisp and clean on the entire CD, but it really stands out in this song. Skip it.
"I don't read books. I don't French cook or stroll around in galleries. I hate opera. I hate Oprah. Don't fill my head with poetry." This song is pretty okay. It could actually be fairly great, if it didn't have such a suckhole eighties' crap-metal chorus. It reminds me of, "Not That Kind of Love", off of "Raise Your Fist and Yell". I didn't even like that song then (1987). Still, outside of the chorus, it's nifty, and the lyrics are neat. At least it picks up the pace of the CD, a little bit.
Somewhere in the Jungle:
"Brother kill brother, side by side, while animals show their teeth, and run away, in disbelief." This bleak jungle jingle slows the pace back down to agonizing levels. It's unbearably bad. I'd take a blowjob from a shark over hearing this song again.
"I had a lot of girls. I had a lot of guns. When they found me dead, the whole world was stunned. Went to the Pearly Gates, said, 'I'm here to sing,' and Peter said, 'well son, you see, we already got ourselves a king." Alice brings back his Elvis impersonation for this number. Reminds me a lot of, "Slick Black Limousine", with a better sense of humor. It's a funny damn song, and the mixture of thrashing metal guitars and an oldies' Elvis beat, works great. This is Alice at his lyrical best (think, "Cold Ethyl" or, "I Love America").
"Now I don't know, but I've been told, there's a nun having fun and she lost her soul. Now we get whores and pimps and skanks, but when your judgment came down, even He gave thanks." If only the chorus didn't get all boring and slow (seems to be a theme with this album). The lyrics are, once again, incredible, and Alice's vocal rap is fucking neat-o. He also does that, "Alice Cooper is talking all scary to you" thing that he perfected on, "Welcome to my Nightmare", which makes the slow chorus almost forgivable.
Every Woman Has a Name:
"Small town debutants and queens, every woman has a name. Every girl whose love survives a broken heart to stay alive. You see your picture in a frame, every woman has a name." How many fucking times is Alice going to milk, "Only Women Bleed"? I'm sick and fucking tired of hearing variations of the original (and I'm using the word "fuck" frequently to show how sick and fucking tired of it I really fucking am). Okay, Alice, it was a hit in the seventies, we get it, it's time to move on. If you want to remake one of your hits, how about "Election" or "Cold Ethyl" or "Raped and Freezin'" or "Billion Dollar Babies" or "I Love the Dead" or "Schools Out"? If this wasn't the HUNDREDTH time the 'Coop did this song, it would be slightly okay, but it is the hundredth time, so it's not. At least it's short.
I Just Wanna be God:
"I never learned to bow, bend or crawl, to any known authority. I really want to build my statue tall, that's all. I'm just tryin' to be God! Why can't I be God?" A little too slow, but still a lot of fun (well, at least kind of a lot of fun). Love Alice's vocals in this one. Good (not great) song with good (not great) lyrics.
It's Much Too Late:
"I never kicked a dog, a child, or my wife, I never looked at pornography. I swear it on my holy saint Mother's life, but somehow she's down here with me. The road to Hell is littered with nice guys with good intentions, but once you're there it's much too late. I can cry and scream, 'it's just not fair,' to leave me here like you don't care, there must be some mistake up there in Heaven." Great lyrics about a dork who thought he did everything right, and wound up in Hell for eternity. That's a funny story. The music is good ONLY because, instead of slow gothy-thrashy crap, it's slow poppy-country crap. A welcome relief. Something's not right with a CD when you're relieved to hear country.
"I'm not a Buddha boy, I'm not a Muslim man, not a Christian or a Jew. I'm not a Mormon freak, I'm not a Catholic geek, and I'm nothing at all like you." Again a good song is dragged down by a slow chorus. Still, this song, no matter how bad it was, would get an automatic five from me, just for saying, "Mormon freak." Mormons are dumb. So, you have a good song with a bad chorus. I'll give it a seven, even though that might be a little too kind.
OVERALL RATING - Alice Cooper's "DragonTown" gets 5.83 Juicy squirts out of a possible 10 ejaculations.
If you read this update send me feedback!
My review of Propagandhi's "Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes" CD
My review of Marylin Manson's "Holy Wood" CD
My review of NOFX's "Pump up the Valuum" CD
My review of Alice Cooper's "Brutal Planet" CD
My review of Migraine's "Live at CBGB's" CD
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Everything outside of the "DragonTown"
cover, and quoted lyrics, are copyright ©2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this, without
my permission, and I'll do something witty and clever at your expense!
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