Alice Cooper may not have had a hit single in two decades but he’s hardly kept quiet during the two decades that separate 1991’s Hey Stoopid and 2011’s Welcome 2 My Nightmare. In addition to his quite good syndicated radio show he’s regularly recorded new records, some getting positive notice, some sinking into obscurity, but none have had quite the high profile of Welcome 2 My Nightmare, an explicit sequel to 1975’s Welcome to My Nightmare that re-teams Alice with producer Bob Ezrin along with such Alice Cooper band veterans as Dick Wagner, Steve Hunter, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith. Given these blasts from the past, it would seem that Welcome 2 My Nightmare would be a throwback to the ‘70s, but one of the great unspoken things about Alice Cooper is that he always makes records that sound like their time and this is no exception, with Ezrin pumping Alice through enough Auto-Tune to compete with Kesha, who happens to be brought in for a duet on the metallic bubblegum “What Baby Wants.” Kesha isn’t the only cameo here: country legend Vince Gill and Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood contribute some guitar, as does former Marilyn Manson sideman John 5, and the very names of these guests go a long way in explaining the giddy kaleidoscope of sounds here. Electro-prog butts shoulders with tightly wound metal, runaway rockabilly, vaudevillian shuffles, disco-rock, garage pop, and power ballads, and old showman that he is, Alice Cooper sells them with a convincing grin. Alice may be the star but much of the success of Welcome 2 My Nightmare is due to the man behind the curtain, as Ezrin gives this album flair and focus that not only make it an unexpectedly successful sequel but the best Alice Cooper record in decades.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine