Alice Cooper

Constrictor

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At a time when many of the forgotten bands of the '70s began to resurface, Alice Cooper released Constrictor in 1986, his first album in three years. The album attempts a fresh start, which made sense, since Cooper suffered physically, creatively, and commercially over the past decade due to changing trends and alcoholism, which left his latest releases void of the energy that had made Killer and Welcome to My Nightmare so popular. For the most part, Cooper succeeded in re-establishing himself -- this is arguably some of the best work he put forth in years. Nothing comes close to the songs he recorded in his '70s heyday, but what's here is surprisingly lively and sharp-witted: "Simple Disobedience" is a catchy anthem of rebellion, and "Teenage Frankenstein" is a straightforward, amusingly melodramatic rocker. Like most of Cooper's '80s work, Constrictor's large amount of filler makes the album unmemorable on the whole, but it serves an importance in proving that Cooper was still entirely capable of rocking out, and was ready for a return to the mainstream without completely selling himself short.

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