Love it to Smurfs
Overall Album Score: 9.2 out of 10
This where Alice Cooper reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally begins. Granted, I still say it's wrong to ignore the two albums he cut before this, but who's to say that he didn't make a *huge* turn for the better? Gone are Alice Cooper's attempts to be psychedelic. Now they're going polished, hard-rock 100 percent of the way! Much of the thanks to that direction is given to producer Bob Ezrin. Heck, anything would have been better than that previous producer!
The funny thing is, they don't really do anything too unique here ... I mean, the song production just consists of the usual orchestration. No sweeping synth-passages or mellotrons or anything. Very much, you can consider this hard rock. But that doesn't even do it justice, because there's a good amount of theatrical material on here. "Black Juju" and "Ballad of Dwight Fry" are rather lengthy epics. The latter one is the obvious favorite!
Naturally, the album is probably more famous for the single "I'm Eighteen," which very appropriately gets tons of radio play to this day. That was an anthem that struck a pretty large chord in the kids of the day (according so some guy I talked to at an Alice Cooper concert), and who's to say it didn't? That song is flippin' awesome! I'm going on a limb and calling the energetic rocker "Long Way to Go" my favorite track of the album. I love it when they rock out!!!
The greatest aspect of the album is its diversity. No two songs sound alike! Furthermore, there isn't a moment in here that sounds misfired. Every song on the album deserves an 8.0 or above; not once do I second guess myself about that. This album is even loaded with catchy melodies. Heck, give me this stuff over Led Zeppelin any frikin' day of the weak!
It's a classic album, and I love it!!!
Overall Album Score: 9.2 out of 10 (Just shock rock nonsense? No! It's classic!)
Average Song Score: 9.1 (It's solid, solid, solid. It's classic moment after not-so-classic greatness.)
Album Tilt: 9.5 (It's a diverse album and pretty even!)
Artist Rating: 9.0 (Not the world's most artistic masterstroke, but this is evident of their excellent songwriting skills. Plus, they weren't in it just for the money!! They couldn't be!!!!)
Caught in a Dream 9.5/10
A tight, poppy opening tune. They're too cool to be heavy metal! This is an entirely accessible and catchy number that proves to be a solid almost "warm up" number to introduce the rest of the album. There's some fabulous guitar work here, too! I likeeeeeeeeeeeeee this!
I'm Eighteen 10/10
Ah, here's the big hit! It's funny that this track is shorter than the previous one! This one seems much more larger-than-life. The guitar chords are classic ........ a masterpiece. The melody is very catchy, and who can't also love Furnier's vocal performance? It's rough, he hits all the right notes and it's passionate! Yay!!
Long Way to Go 10/10
I'd have to say this "pub-rock" tune is my favorite of the album. Technically, it's probably worse than "I'm Eighteen," but ... that still doesn't account for taste. The inertia they pick up in this great rocker is undeniable. The guitars are delicious and bouncy--this song is so awesomely spirited! Granted, the melody isn't among their most original ("Come Together," anyone?), but ....... it's still a great song. When they bring in that piano in the latter half, it was the perfect touch.
Black Juju 12/15
After those three three-minute hard-rock songs, it's time for the Coop to go all 9-minutes-long on us and prove that he has tons of artistic integrity. The song begins with some awesome tribal drums and a quiet organ. Then the song gets pretty evil ... Alice gives one of those evil performances. The song gets quieter but still evil as Alice sings something about death. Hmhmhmh.... No wonder the parents didn't like him! Hey, great song, though! It's too lengthy for not really a great reason, but I like what they do. It's creepy and entertaining! That's Alice Cooper for ya.
Is it My Body 9/10
Back to the usual stuff ... it's not really close to three minutes long. Not as inspiring as the previous tracks, but that doesn't mean this isn't another great song from these guys. The melody continues to be catchy and those guitar riffs are wonderful. It's just the usual hard-rock song, but it's even different enough from all the others songs to give it needed distinction.
Hallowed Be My Name 8.5/10
Spooky but exciting! The time length is similar to the previous song. The melody isn't my favorite on here, but get a load of that crazy laugh! Baaaaaaahahahahahhhhhhh!!! The guitar work is really crazy, too ... those wobbles were a very nice touch.
Second Coming 8.5/10
Great melody they have here! It starts up a piano ballad, but then they bring in some sloppy guitars. No, that's not a bad thing. I'd have to say that the ending is my favorite. They bring in those military drums and go through a very excellent chord progression .... the piano eventually takes it over, which gives this song an unexpectedly pleasant end.
Ballad of Dwight Fry 15/15
...and they fade that in expertly with this song. Get a load of the piano!!! It's not Rick Wakeman, but it's very good work! This song is 6.5 minutes and easily the best piece of theater-rock on the album (but then again, all it had to compete with was "Black Juju"). The melody is soooo catchy! Not only that, but the theatrics are extremely enjoyable. Cooper, very goofy, speaks like a little girl at the beginning. Then he goes through some narrative that gets interupted by a rather intense chorus. This is a wonderful song!!!!
Sun Arise 8.5/10
Weird!! They're sounding like the early Stones here, if I may be so bold. I can't say this is my favorite song of the album. (Bluesy songs never seemed to resonate well with me ... I can't make any excuse for that.) It's obvious they're having fun with it and I do like that drum beat, at least! Confidence in rock 'n' roll means everything sometimes, and these guys have it.
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