3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Who's the Dada?!,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dada (Audio CD)
On first listen this sounded as terrible as Special Forces was. After continued resilience and faith, this has flowered into probably the best of, not only his pre-Constrictor 80s output but possibly one his very best albums to date. However, it is very schizophrenic and many of the tracks vary wildy in tone. The difference is that they are all actually rather good and so the odd mixture becomes eclectic. There is actually not one bad track here.
The title track is a dark soundscape and not really much of a song as such but instils a dread that is difficult to create on record. It actually sounds nightmarish with whispered asides and the constant heart-beat drumming adding to a quiet cacophany that echoes inside your subconscious long after. Not at all the weakest here despite its lack of structure and length; it is sufficiently creepy. Which is why 'Enough's Enough' was so difficult to like. It erupts into life like an annoying younger sibling, especially after the serious moodiness of 'DaDa'. But, it turns out that it is a great little toe-tapper with a melody and chorus that sticks in your head like a children's nursey rhyme. It is completely bonkers and uncool and actually a bit scary because of it. It's like the musical equivalent of a close friend suddenly becoming hysterically manic. 'Former Lee Warmer' is more subdued and really only good at best but, as each song adds to whole, it works perfectly after the previous track. It is a ballad of sorts. 'No Man's Land' gets better and better with repeated listens. It's a great old-fashioned AC track and slowly became one of my favourites. 'Dyslexia' on the other hand returns to the bonkers world of 'Enough's Enough'. But, again, after due diligence, it is a rather catchy track, albeit ridiculous and as nightmarishly viral as 'DaDa'.
'Scarlett and Sheba' is astonishingly good. It's a very overblown power ballad that is one of his best tracks that never sees the light of day anymore. 'I Love America' is equally as excellent but for different reasons. It's a deliberately funny song that takes the mick out of America while making the narrator seem rather likeable. It is rousing, far better than 'Lost in America' from The Last Temptation, is completely underrated and is possibly one of the only comedy tracks I've listened to to actually BE genuinely hilarious, even after many listens. 'Fresh Blood' is an MOR grower that has a great chorus, you just won't know it until the 5th listen. But when you do - wow. Again, one of my favourite AC tracks ever. And it's about vampires - of course. 'Pass the Gun Around' has a brilliantly lethargic chorus and finishes the album perfectly. Great, 5 star stuff. And to think that he publicly stated that he could not remember recording this!
After the dross that he was producing year after year during the beginning of the 80s, this was a surprise, but a surprise that took a while to become one... if you get me. I would recommend this to be as worthy an addition to the Alice Cooper canon as Welcome to My Nightmare, Love It To Death, Billion Dollar Babies and Killer. It's far better than School's Out and Muscle of Love, has a distictive sound that he had never used before or after and stands out as a curious addition to a classic back catalogue. It should not be universally and critically pigeon-holed as an also-ran but be revered as a peerless seminal benchmark, left-field work.