0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A bit thin, but its amusing,
This review is from: Along Came A Spider (Audio CD)Alice is back again, but his form is slipping just a little bit. After the virtuosity of his first four 21st Century albums, `Along Came a Spider' is a much simpler affair. Here, his lyrics are, by comparison, sadly one-dimensional. Though, his humour is as healthy as ever. And, as a sequel of sorts to `Welcome to My Nightmare' - picking up the story of Steven some 28 years later - it would be easy to call it a disappointment.
But that would be ignoring the fact that `Along Came A Spider' is 1) a lot of fun and 2) much better than most of his muddled work from the 80s and his post `Nightmare' soft rock adventures in the late 70s.
Gone is the industrial metal of the brilliant `Brutal Planet' and its successor, `Dragontown', and the punk-tinged garage celebration of `The Eyes of Alice Cooper' and `Dirty Diamonds'. On the more theatrical `Spider', Alice has somewhat lazily headed back into straight-forward metal territory, though he has kept the melody and genre-tapping style-hopping of `Dirty Diamonds' intact. And this tends to both elevate the record and echo the concept albums from his past.
We begin with a spoken word prologue in which the diaries of an escaped killer have been found. Then Alice, playing the serial killer, rocks us through a seeming cat and mouse, man-on-the-run game. But it winds up right back in the asylum, where he melodically toys with the thought of Christian salvation before withdrawing into his apparent delusion that he is a spider (the Black Widow?) in `I Am the Spider'. Finally, the whole thing wraps up with a rather unimaginative and perfunctory epilogue (the most disappointing aspect of the record).
None of the songs are bad here. They are just a bit shallow and prone to repetition. `Vengeance is Mine' features Slash in a catchy, but rather standard metal onslaught. `I Know Where You Live, `Wake the Dead', `Catch Me If You Can' and `The One That Got Away' are fairly straight up-and-down rock songs. And `I'm Hungry' sees the tongue-in-cheek approach shoot straight into high camp farce, abandoning any notion that there is anything serious happening on this outing. The slow, 60s styled ballad, `Killed by Love' is a definite high point.
It is hard to ignore the feeling that Alice has rushed this one out. There is a great theme here, but it is never fully explored and it lacks the intrinsic perversity that characterized the early band and solo artist recordings. As an unchallenging slab of comic-book rock, however, it's a definite hoot.