Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet
Album Review by Adam McCann
Label : Eagle Records
Year : 2000
Alice goes industrial
Alice Cooper is one of rock and metal’s greatest chameleons, a master of reinventing himself as the tides of music turn. The mid-90’s had proved a difficult time for Alice, his 1994 album ‘The Last Temptation’ showed the vaudeville master adjusting to a post glam era that had been the catalyst for Alice’s return to music forefront. However, six years had passed between ‘The Last Temptation’ and what would be Alice Cooper’s 21st studio album; ‘Brutal Planet’.
Joining forces with Bob Marlette, the producer behind the likes of John5, 2wo, Saliva and Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper took ‘Brutal Planet’ towards the industrial/nu-metal sound that was contemporary at the time. This gave ‘Brutal Planet’ Alice’s darkest album to date, it was slow and brooding as the theatrical artisan tackled such big issues as school shootings, domestic violence and prejudice.
Although ‘Brutal Planet’ hugely updated Alice’s sound for a new generation, the lyrics were delivered with a pseudo Christian overtone, particularly on the opening three tracks. However, it is here where the album shines, ‘Wicked Young Man’, ‘Sanctuary’ and the title are all shining examples of Alice embracing a new genre in full flow, whilst ‘Take it Like a Woman’ is a worthy successor to ‘Only Women Bleed’. Unfortunately, there are a few duds ‘Gimme’ and ‘It’s the Little Things’ are almost the year 2000 by numbers, yes it sounds modern, but also sounds as if your dad has written the song whilst ‘Cold Machines’ borrows heavily from Manson’s ‘Beautiful People’ but does little to expand on it.
Generally discarded, ‘Brutal Planet’ has aged considerably better than most of the big selling bands of the time with lyrics that eighteen years on still sadly ring true. It’s not Alice Cooper’s best work, but ‘Brutal Planet’ is certainly a diamond in the rough that deserves a second listen.
Rating : 76/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann