ALICE COOPER – Brutal Planet

Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet (2000, Spitfire Records)

1. “Brutal Planet” … 4:40
2. “Wicked Young Man” … 3:50
3. “Sanctuary” … 4:00
4. “Blow Me a Kiss” … 3:18
5. “Eat Some More” … 4:36
6. “Pick Up the Bones” … 5:14
7. “Pessi-Mystic” … 4:56
8. “Gimme” … 4:46
9. “It’s the Little Things” … 4:11
10. “Take It Like a Woman” … 4:12
11. “Cold Machines” … 4:14

Alice Cooper – Vocals
Ryan Roxie – Guitar
China – Guitar
Phil X – Guitar
Bob Marlette – Bass, Keyboards, Guitar
Eric Singer – Drums

Produced by: Bob Marlette and Bob Ezrin

After 1994’s The Last Temptation, Alice took a six year break from recording (the longest in his career). The Last Temptation shook off the 80s pop metal of Trash, Constrictor, Hey Stoopid and Raise Your Fist and Yell and featured similarities to his 70s work, but in 2000, Alice’s “comeback”, Brutal Planet, was another shift in sound. This time a drastic one which had more in common with the industrial metal of Rob Zombie (Alice’s “pick” to be his successor, should he ever desire to step down from being the King of Shock Rock) than Bon Jovi or the original Alice Cooper band.

I remember “Brutal Planet” was made available for streaming and it took me awhile to get into it. Alice inspired Rob Zombie greatly, so it was sad and disappointing to see Alice trying to play catch up with the new generation by taking a stab at industrial metal, which was then a trendy sound for many young metal acts.

I listened to this album a lot when it came out, just because I was a huge fan of Alice, but I could not get over Alice’s new heavier sound. It just didn’t seem natural to me. 70s Alice, 80s Alice… Anything but industrial Alice! In the last few years though, I’ve come to really appreciate it for what it is. Personally, 80s Alice is my preference, but Brutal Planet has some great songs, even if they aren’t what I would consider to be Alice classics. The lyrics are great to boot and I remember many reviews at the time giving high praise to them, saying they are some of this best.

There’s a general sense of doom and pessimism (see “Pessi-Mystic”) to the album. There’s not a lot of Alice’s signature humor outside of “It’s the Little Things”. This is angry Alice. This is an Alice that’s a bit more serious and the album focuses on real world tragedies instead of his usual tongue-in-cheek macabre. This album is a different kind of Alice, but one that I’ve come to enjoy.

The one song that really sticks out just from the rest, for the fact that musically it is so different than the rest of the album, is “Take It Like a Woman”. It is just one of a few numbers Alice has done throughout the years that I consider to basically be follow-ups to his signature ballad “Only Women Bleed”.

There was a really great Alice song left off the album, and it too, did not fit in with the rest of the songs — “Can’t Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me”. It definitely showed that fun, twisted side of Alice and sounded like a great fit for Trash or Hey Stoopid. It eventually ended up on international special editions of Dragontown.

On a superficial note, I’ve always hated the cover the and pictures of Alice the album had. Alice just didn’t look like Alice. He looked like a old bum. Maybe that’s what they were going for, but it didn’t work for me.

Highlights: “Brutal Planet”, “Sanctuary”, “Pick Up the Bones”, “Pessi-Mystic”, “Gimme”, “It’s the Little Things”, “Take It Like a Woman”


Posted on June 29, 2009, in Alice Cooper and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Definitely more modern, more industrial, mork dark. And it’s a concept record to boot! I prefer the next album, Dragontown.

    Saw the Brutal Planet tour in Boston that October, saw the Dragontown tour on October 30, 2001 at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

    Heavy Metal Addiction

    • Alice is another all-time fave I need to see live. Every year I’ve lived in Michigan, he’s hit a county fair within 2-4 hours from here, but I’ve never had the time or money to go see him. I think he’ll be around sometime this week.

  2. Alice Cooper originally is from Michigan, isn’t he?
    From “Detroit Rock City“, I believe.

  3. I dug this album when it came out and still do. I used to revere 80s Alice but as the years passed, I have actually become more of a fan of his later stuff.

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