Alice Cooper-Along came a spider
To say Alice Cooper's career has been varied would be an understatement. He has never been afraid to take chances as far as changing musical styles. That approach has worked out with albums like "Welcome to my nightmare" and "Raise your fist and yell" but he has had far more disastrous results on efforts like "Lace and whiskey" ,"Special Forces" and others. So with a track record like this you never know quite what expect although the last few albums have generally been decent. As a whole "Along came a spider" is actually not all that surprising in the musical approach that it takes. That's not to say it's restrained though it's just that Cooper taps into some styles he has tried before. Tracks like "I know where you live", "Killed by love" and "I'm Hungry" actually have me thinking of "Welcome to my nightmare" and "Goes to hell" era Alice. Other tracks take more of modern hard rock approach or well, modern as in the last twenty years. The concept behind the album is that it is supposed to be about a serial killer named "spider" and follows what he does and his ultimate fate. The music is fairly varied and a brisk pace for many of the tracks helps. Alice's previous album "Dirty Diamonds" tried a similar approach of mixing earlier sounds from Cooper's career with newer hard rock. However "Dirty Diamonds" struggled because it seemed very forced, but "Along came the spider" has Cooper and his band sounding very natural and even more confident than he has in some time. Whether it's a heavy track or a ballad Alice just very much seems logged into his comfort zone here and that's very key. Talking about killers and murders is something that not every singer could do in this context without it sounding like total cheese. Yet Cooper has always had a knack of taking dark topics and pulling it off because that whole horror aspect (rather real or movie type horror) has always been a part of his identity. A few songs are a little more typical music wise than I would liked, but overall this release goes into Alice Cooper's stack of good releases.