Edmonton Sun

Originally Published: June 17, 2000

Alice Cooper Is In Top Form

Author: Mike Ross

Brutal Planet
Alice Cooper
(EMI)

Forget about Alice Cooper the golfer, the father, the restaurateur.

That regular guy is nowhere to be found, probably bound and gagged in some dungeon. Alice Cooper, the living horror comic character, is back and takes centre stage on this morbid metal album. He's rarely sounded better. Rob Zombie is just the student. Alice is the teacher.

The theme once again: We're all doomed. Coop makes that perfectly clear in the title track, painting the world as a "ball of hate." Fat Americans get a sharp poke in Eat Some More - rhyming "cheddar cheese" with "unique disease," while the devil himself states his case in Gimmie.

Marked by heavy guitar riffery with just a few electronic touches of nu-metal, there's plenty of ghoulish fun to be found. The driving It's the Little Things features such lines as "you can burn my house, you can cut my hair, you can make me wrestle naked with a grizzly bear, you can poison my cat, baby, I don't care, but if you talk in the movies, I'll kill you right there."

The ballad Take It Like a Woman - the modern Only Women Bleed - is disturbing, while Pessi-Mystic is pure satire, taking a shot at the sort of people who revel in hopelessness.

While the music is formulaic at times, Alice sounds like he's at the top of his form, both in writing and vocals. Best of all, the older he gets, the scarier he looks without makeup. I'll bet he's a terror on the golf course.