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Music DVD/CD Reviews: Alice Cooper, LA Guns, Paul Rodgers, Brainstorm, Almah, & Riverside

It is that time of the week again and as per normal, it is quite an interesting musical adventure.

Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare II

There are times in this gig that reviews are tough to write. This is one of those, it is of course easy when a release is a steaming pile or something special. What is tough is when most of it just leaves you unmoved. This is one such disc. I have listened to this disc quite a few times and for the most part is just doesn’t do anything for me. I say this as someone who likes the ole’ Coop’s music both old and new. The music sounds far more like the music from his first big time in the charts. This is far more rock (and in some cases roll) than it is metal. This is dark poppy rock music that would not have been out of the place in the ’70s.

There are some amusing ditties on here, as you would expect from
Alice, but nothing that really rivals anything on its original namesake. I can’t even figure out whether the opening track “I am made of You” is brilliant or balderdash. It is, of course, very possible that I am taking this way to seriously and missing the point of the CD. I mean the pseudo-rap of “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever” is just freaking awful, but that might be deliberate.

Another problem with the disc is that it’s 14 tracks, which is quite a few too many. “Last Man on Earth” and “Ghouls Gone Wild” have grown on me, the latter is a great song that should be a hit at Halloween. There seems to be the missing “catchy” element that is so common in the best of Alice’s tracks. The ballad “Something to Remember” seems quite out of place mid-CD and should have been left to last. It just ruins the vibe of the disc and is just not very good. “What Baby Wants” has the same vibe as his hit “Poison”, but with a modern Glee-esque duet touch.

Overall, this disc strikes as trying too hard to be hip. Not a bad album, but not the usual quality and consistency we expect from Alice.

LA Guns: Acoustic Gipsy Live

This is a live album from Tracii Guns’ version of the band. There is, of course, a Phil Lewis, LA Guns’ most well known singer, version of the group treading the boards as well. Tracii Guns’ LA Guns are fronted by Jizzi Pearl of Love/Hate fame. This was recorded in Feb of this year at The Hotel Cafe in LA. This is the first new release for Steve Vai’s label. It features many past members of the band including Muddy Stardust, Doni Grey and Danny Nordahl. This line-up didn’t remain together for long after that gig. Remembering who plays in this version of LA Guns could keep you up at night it’s so complicated. Which version of the band you prefer is all down to whose voice you prefer. Me, I prefer Phil Lewis on vocals as he has got better pipes than Jizzy, especially in this sort of setting.

That said this has decent versions of the LA Guns hits as well as a passable covers. Jizzy does an acceptable job on vocals for their cover of the Nazareth moanfest “Love Hurts”. You can debate whether glam metal tracks such as “Sex Action” and Rip and Tear” actually work acoustically. This was an enjoyable unplugged release that works great on a long drive. And you got to love hearing “Electic Gipsy” acoustically.

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