For the Alice Cooper fans who feel his output was spotty before and after the 1989 classic Trash on Epic, Brutal Planet is a cause to rejoice. It is a solid hard rock offering. Cooper is in great voice, and he sounds mean and spirited. The title track would be a blessing on radio today. It has great bottom, sizzling guitars, and wonderful backing vocalists. The most impressive thing about this album is Cooper's lyrics. "Sanctuary" could be Lou Reed meets Deep Purple in their heyday. Back in 1987 Cooper performed with an unruly band all over the map. It was very uncomfortable and a far cry from his heyday of "I'm 18" and "Under My Wheels": guitars too loud, and an artist obviously struggling with his personal demons.
This disc rocks hard with hooks galore and is delivered with the intensity of a Mike Tyson punch, double entendre fully intended. "Wicked Young Men" continues the thump thump brigade of this fine album. Cooper is now being a bad boy with sophisticated lyrics. "I am a vicious young man" sounds like the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange II: the aforementioned street lingo of Reed and Springsteen turned up a notch. "I've got every kind of chemical pumping through my head/I read Mein Kempf daily just to keep my hatred fed/I never ever sleep, I just lay in my bed/dreaming of the day when everyone is dead."
Cooper is ready to exterminate everyone and everything. And though listeners who love Alice Cooper know it's all tongue in cheek, the bigger picture is that a known artist has created a very studied, very calculated, and very electric compact disc. It works on so many levels, and how many listeners had written Cooper off? There may be no song here that will brand itself into the consciousness as "School's Out" or "Elected" did, but those were different times. This is more powerful than most rap. It is direct. It is hard hitting. It is Alice Cooper at his most absolute sinister. Burt Reynolds said that "nothing plays as good as an old Stradivarius" and Alice Cooper proves that saying true. He has created a splash of cold water that could rip radio wide open if given the chance. In "Blow Me a Kiss," Alice sings "blow me away... I'm in my room... I'm Dr. Doom... I'm not me, I'm someone else." Where has Cooper been hiding these lyrics all these years?