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Paranormal

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Liste des tracks

Acteurs

Auteur: Alice Cooper
Artiste: Alice Cooper
Illustrateur: Büro Dirk Rudolph
Label: Ear Music

Critique

Some things never change -- the sky is blue, two plus two equals four, the sun rises in the east, and Alice Cooper will make albums where he sneers out spooky lyrics as long as he can draw breath. Cooper hadn't had anything resembling a hit since the mid-'90s, but the man clearly had no desire to retire, and though he was 69 years old when he released Paranormal in 2017, he still sounded admirably spry and hadn't lost his voice or his charisma. Paranormal was released not long after Cooper reunited with surviving members of the original Alice Cooper band for some surprise shows, and the advance word on the album had it that Cooper was going to write and record with them. While bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith pop up on a few tracks of Paranormal, the two songs they wrote with him, "Genuine American Girl" and "You and All of Your Friends," appear on Paranormal as bonus tracks, and anyone hoping for a blast of sleazy glory in the manner of School's Out or Killer will be a bit disappointed. (Then again, when the Coop brought a bunch of the original guys on board for 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, no one noticed, so maybe the fans have faulty expectations.) While it features Dunaway, Smith, and producer Bob Ezrin (who was at the controls for Cooper's best '70s work), Paranormal more closely resembles Cooper's hair metal-flavored work of the '90s, though Ezrin has given this material a more up-to-date sheen. Thankfully, Paranormal is a livelier and more entertaining listen than Trash or Hey Stoopid, and while he aims for high spookiness on "Dead Flies," "The Sound of A," and the title track, he seems to be having more fun with wittier numbers like "Dynamite Road," "Private Public Breakdown," and "Fallen in Love" ("and I can't get up!"). The band delivers the goods with admirable precision and some honest enthusiasm, while the guests include Larry Mullen from U2, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Roger Glover from Deep Purple (and who would've guessed that those guys would ever be on an album together, let alone with Alice Cooper?). Paranormal isn't the return to form one might have hoped for, but it's no embarrassment either, and Cooper appears to be having a grand time while giving his fans a good show for their dollar. ~ Mark Deming