This is Alice Cooper’s twenty-ninth studio album, a concept all about travelling in a Rock band and related aspects. It’s different from previous releases, as it was written not just by Cooper (and Bob Ezrin), but also the whole (touring) band. The whole thing was recorded live in the studio. Consequently, this album is “alive”, with a kick to it and... it rocks.
I have been saying for a long time that this band is the best since the originals, and can replicate the sound and feel, as well as the notes of the early material. Cooper decided to showcase this, and he would involve them in all aspects of the creation process for ‘Road’.
Kicking off with ‘I’m Alice’, he tells us exactly who and what he is, and snippets of ‘Elected’ from ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ are incorporated. ‘All Over The World’ has a snippet of ‘Eighteen’, and ‘Love It To Death’ gets a mention in ‘Road Rats’. The fast-paced ‘Welcome To The Show’, I expect, will open future concerts, whilst Cooper’s old mate makes a return in ‘White Line Frankenstein’, as does ex-Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Nita Strauss is back in the band, although there’s not a lot of overt shredding on here, most of the breaks being constrained and structured, apart maybe from the humorous ‘Dead Don’t Dance’, which I think is a good decision. There’s more humour in ‘Go Away’ (probably about groupies), involving kidney stones, and ‘The Big Goodbye’ is the heaviest song on offer.
I hear, and so may you, little snippets all over that remind me of songs I am yet to identify; I keep listening, trying to do that, and it’s driving me mad! ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ is the “ballad” about leaving loved ones to go on tour, while ‘Rules Of The Road’ warns about joining the “27 Club”. The album closes with a “heavy-ish” cover of The Who’s ‘Magic Bus’, which I believe is the first time Cooper has covered a song on a named Alice Cooper album since ‘Sun Arise’ on ‘Love It To Death’.
The release comes in various formats, naturally, which includes CD, CD+DVD or Blu-Ray, vinyl and box set. The vinyl comes as a double album, while the DVD or Blu-ray versions contain video recording of the full 2022 Hellfest appearance. An album with fantastic energy, from a genuine musical legend.
Reviewer & Album Information
Reviewer: Andy Brailsford
Genre: Hard Rock
Issue Reviewed In: #104