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Tom de Ryck (10.04.2004)
I’m glad to see you’ve made up your mind about this guy. I remember that a couple of years ago, he was still rated “locust”, while the likes of Rod Stewart earned a 2, despite being responsible for much bigger musical crimes (I even enjoy Cooper’s late 80’s output, admittedly as a “guilty” pleasure). This rating puts him in the same league as Elton John, Abba, Lou Reed, even David Bowie. Can’t argue with that.
Pretty decent start. I really like "Apple Bush" and "Reflected". This album sure as hell ain't perfect, but Rock n' Roll ain't supposed to be...now is it?
David Goodwin (12.10.2001)
Interesting that you mentioned Trout Mask...there's this point
in "10 Seconds Before the Worm" (or whatever it's called) where,
for a brief few seconds, this album sounds EXACTLY like Trout Mask.
That's some juicey conceptual continuity!
I've always liked Pretties, but it and Easy Action both seem like a band trying to find direction...
Good review on Easy Action. I'm not a fanatic or anything. I
have all the original bands materal (1969-1973). Pretties for you
was produced by Alice Cooper. Weather he produced it himself ,or the band
did I have no idea. Probably the band since the whole group took the name
Alice Cooper in that period. Pretties for you, Easy Action,
and first copies of Love it to death were on Frank Zappa's and Herb
Cohen's Bizarre Straight label. The label was started in 1968 and lasted
until 1972. Their were only 9 artists to record music for the label. There
was also one Lenny Bruce album and, also a Lord Buckley album. Alice Cooper,
Tim Buckley, Captain Beefheart, and Zappa were the only artists to have
more than one recording for the label.
Warner Brothers folded the label in 1972. The only albums they picked up off the label was all of Zappa's stuff, Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, And Coopers Love It To Death. Everything else was out of print. Beefhearts Lick My Decals Off Baby (1970) was out of print for like 20 something years. Rhino records bought Bizarre Straight a few years back. I think they reissued some of this stuff. They also added more stuff to the label. I've herd most of the original label stuff is still very hard to get on CD from Rhino. The original vinyl records of this stuff is extremely sought after by collecters. Well thats it I don't expect you to poast this it's too long. I hope I gave you some information that might help you. Check with Rhino Records you might be able to find Pretties For You.
David Goodwin (14.12.2001)
I know I'm alone in this, but I like Easy Action better than
Pretties. While Pretties is fun in an ecletic sense, it all
kind of flows together...it has great moments, but few great complete songs
(of course, I love it anyway, so..^_^).
Now, Easy Action is an easier affair to digest; it has the promising, and the (to me) crap. But the promising is good! 'Beautiful Flyaway' is by far the least typical song the band ever did (that isn't even Vince singing!), and I admit to having a HUGE soft spot for it. 'Shoe Salesman', 'Laughing at Me'...great songs. And dig the production! Zappa did his best to make Pretties sound like a grittier Trout Mask, but the guy producing here has no such intentions; as a result, this is one of the best produced albums I've EVER heard from the sixties...yet again, untypical for this band.
But there are a few problems. Firstly, Vince's singing is actually a low point on this record; on 'Laughing at Me', for example, his delivery seems to be completely inappropriate, kind of an off-key whine/growl. I can't tell whether he does this intentionally, but while it fits some songs, it doesn't work for all of them (he uses his regular voice on 'Shoe Salesman', which benefits immensely because of it).
Secondly, too many of the songs are drawn out artificially. "Lay Down and Die, Goodbye" is an excellent song in its original Nazz incarnation, but they completely overdo it here....sad.
All in all, not anything like their later work, and obviously a transitional album, but it has its shining moments, and is definately worth a listen.
Mike Healy (06.04.2002)
That's actually Michael Bruce singing lead (and playing piano) on "Beautiful Flyaway", and also singing lead on "Sing Low Sweet Cheerio" on "Pretties For You".
Good ... but not great. It does have "I'm 18," one of Alice
Cooper's biggest radio hits, and it does have "The Ballad of Dwight
Fry," one of Alice Cooper's biggest cult classics (clas-sicks?). But
other than that, it's kind of lean. Side 1 is pretty much good, and side
2 is pretty much forgettable except for 'Dwight Fry', which is easily the
best song on here. Alice Cooper never captured the essence of insanity
and insane asylums as chillingly or as convincingly again. It's a far cry
from his silly, tawdry late-70's excesses ... the entire From The Inside
album was a laughable parody of what he accomplished in "The Ballad
of Dwight Fry." The music is excellent, alternating between calm acoustic
parts and thundering choruses, dwindling down into a gruelingly slow, warped
sounding tempo near the end with creepy "fade-in" guitars that
will make your skin crawl. It's almost like the thought processes of schizophrenia
itself translated into music. The lyrics range from comical ("Sure
like to see that little chillen, she's only 4 years old, I'd give her back
all of her playthings, even the ones I stole")... to downright chilling
("I saw a man who was choking there, I guess he couldn't breathe"),
but all reflect something of the nature of madness. And Cooper (the individual)
sings the lines with such knowledge and conviction you'd swear it really
WAS poor old Dwight Fry, chained up in some asylum and screaming his heart
out to the world. It's one of the few rock songs about insanity that doesn't
come across as a cheesy put-on, because it sounds REAL. If you actually
sit down and listen to it, it will scare the shit out of you.
And the rest of Love It To Death? Well, it's interesting, but it's no "Billion Dollar Babies," that's for sure. "I'm 18" is about the only other masterpiece on it, although I do like "Black Juju" a great deal because it's actually a lot scarier than most of his so-called "horror songs." Don't believe me? Try playing it sometime when you're alone in the house, late at night. With all the lights off. You may gain a newfound respect for it, heh heh.
Jane Turner (04.04.2002)
"Sun Arise" was actually written by Rolf Harris, based on aboriginal didge-and-stick music. I'm a huge fan of Rolf as well as Alice, so this combination is somewhat irresistable - the only other thing I could want is Rolf doing 'Dead Babies' with a wobbleboard! :o)
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I first heard this album almost 20 years ago, and I still love it (more
than I can say for Welcome To My Nightmare). The title track is
one of THE classic teen anthems of all time, and the rest of the album
is no slouch either. I really like "Public Animal #9" and "My
Stars". But my vote for the highpoint of the album goes to (can you
guess?)... "Blue Turk." The arrangement of horns, guitar, and
bass on this song is incredible, and that descending bass line at the end
going down, down, down to the climax and that final obnoxious trombone
note -- fantastic!!! A fusion of 1920s speakeasy jazz with gritty 1970s
glam rock, sex drenched, sleazy as hell, and utterly brilliant. I think
Al Capone would have loved it. Whenever someone tells me they think Alice
is just a dumb shock-rocker, I tell to pick up School's Out and
listen to "Blue Turk" at least once before they pass judgment,
or otherwise I'm not going to take them seriously. I disagree with your
comment that School's Out was the beginning of "theatrical"
Alice Cooper though, because there's nothing really horror show-ish on
here. The whole horror show thing didn't get into full swing until Billion
Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars I'd probably give this album a 4... hell, at least a 4.
I think it definitely deserves at least half a star more for the timeless
classic title song alone.
As for the theatrics, like it or not, Alice the man was a showman, and for once this was starting to appear in his music. It isn't necesarily a bad thing for his theatrics to appear in his music, at least for me it isn't, it's charming in it's cheesiness (and this Cooper guy definitely had a sense of humor, he knew what he was doing wasn't "really" scary, it was all harmless fun with a little creepiness inserted for novelty.)
"Luney Tune" I'll admit isn't great, but half of what people think Alice did for shock alone was really harmless humor, sometimes poking fun at the excesses of shock/glam rock itself (a good example: "I Love the Dead", it's so ridiculous that one can't help but think there's an element of irony beneath its straightforward exterior). The street fight sequence was an obvious attempt at setting the listener up to want to see it acted out on stage, but I can't help but feel bad for the bassist and drummer, having to play their instruments, not being able to join in the fun.
"Blue Turk", man I just love this song, it's totally out of left field and you'd never even expect it. Good jam in the middle, too. It took me a few listens to realize it was about sex, possibly necrophilia, because of his reference to graveyards and worms.
"My Stars" and "Public Animal #9" are good tunes to just rock out to, and 'Public Animal' has some hilarious lyrics to it "They gave him a gold star/ and told him he would go far", "They wanted an Einstein/But they got a Frankenstein", etc.
"Alma Mater" - gotta love it: introspective, humorous, even a bit heartfelt. Unprecedented among Alice Cooper's music at the time.
Pedro Andino (05.08.2005)
call it glam, call it shock rock, call it what you will but alice cooper is the showman! it is just like wrestling, maybe staged but it is fun. for shock rock value nothing beats this guy but others want to steal the crown like ozzy and mr. manson! the west side story concept really works in 'gutter cat vs. the jet's and 'street fight'. produced by bob ezrin, he is like phil spector at times when he produced kiss with the glam sound effects and pink floyd with it's broadway styles. I still enjoy alice and it is a 10.
In my humble opinion, this is THE quintessential Alice Cooper album,
the one where he struck the perfect balance between creepshow theatrics
and serious music. We seem to have the same favorite song on here George
('Unfinished Sweet'). A nightmarish trip to the dentist, complete with
paranoid laughing gas-induced hallucinations of killer spies and a "James
Bond music" midsection... ya gotta love it. (What is it with Cooper
and James Bond, anyway?) And "Generation Landslide", with its
half-boasting / half-mocking commentary on greedy, spoiled, 20th century
American youth, has to be one of the wittiest songs Cooper ever recorded.
I love the way he sings "Stopped at full speed at 100 miles per hour,
the Colgate invisible shield finally GOT 'em..." And then there's
"Elected", the song that first hooked me on Alice when I was
a kid. And I love "Sick Things" in all of it's plodding, relentless,
terrible, twisted grandeur. I'll admit most of the lyrics are kind of stupid,
but the music of 'Things' is so beautifully ugly, and at the same time
so simple, that it approaches a dark sort of genius (no, I'm not kidding).
The cheesy horror of Welcome To My Nightmare pales in comparison
Simply put, this album's a bona fide 5 star. 'Nuff said.
Mike Healy (06.04.2002)
Over here in the US, Billion Dollar Babies has just been reissued as a 2-CD set in a cool package that reproduces the LP cover as we know it (minus the dollar bill, but the wallet-photos have little perforations along the edges of them!). The second CD has live material from two shows in Texas in 1973, centering on cuts from Billion Dollar Babies, but has the classic favorites like "I'm Eighteen" and a few others. The only one missing is "School's Out". Great recording, especially the drums. The band was augmented by Mick Mashbir and Bob Dolin, who later played on Muscle Of Love. The disc ends with "Slick Black Limousine" an outtake with Alice singing like Elvis to a 50's-type beat, which is kind of funny, and an alternative version of "Generation Landslide". Also, if you can ever find it, the Quadraphonic version of the album is *totally* different than the stereo mix. "Raped And Freezin'" has a different vocal track with a small change of lyric ("Alone, down in Mexico" is replaced by the line "Alone, with a bloody nose"), "Generation Landslide" has a collapsing ending which segues into "Sick Things" with starts off with the main riff played with heavy guitar and bass. The ending to "I Love The Dead" doesn't have the tricky edited orchestral hits before the word "nothing", which concludes it. Well worth looking for and buying at any price!
Pat Shipp (23.08.2003)
I disagree with you about "Hard Hearted Alice". That intro is one of the most beautiful things that I've ever heard, if not the most. That melody is just so painfully emotional that it damn near brings me to tears every time I hear it. The rest of the album is great, too, but this tune is the real keeper.
Jeff Melchior (07.01.2001)
It's certainly not all that "shocking" (at least by today's standards), but it's a lot of fun - perhaps Alice's funnest record of all time. The Broadway and disco numbers work here primarily because they're well-written, and the rockers ('Cold Ethyl', 'Escape') are worth the price of sitting through some schlock. I love Vincent Price's guest-narration on 'Black Widow' ("Delicious - And I hope he was" - beautiful). It's kinda funny seeing the sensitive side of Alice on 'Only Women Bleed' which, while hardly my favorite song on the album, is a pleasant enough ballad. You'd be hard-pressed to ever hear Alice in this good a form again, although From The Inside comes close.
Jeff Melchior (22.12.2000)
...In which our man Alice, after the commercial and artistic triumph that was Welcome To My Nightmare, records an album that shows the giant gaping holes in his formula. Hardly anything on this album rocks, and the Broadway-style numbers are not up to the catchy standard set by Nightmare. I've owned it for years and I've barely listened to it. I daresay - and these are strong words - that even his '80s pop metal stuff (and Alice did some of the worst work in that genre) are better. Get From The Inside (1978) though - it's a watershed in Alice's descent into mediocrity.
Call me crazy, but this is my second favorite Alice Cooper album, hands
down (my favorite one is still Billion Dollar Babies and probably
always will be). Goes To Hell is a concept album and it's based
on a really neat idea, the idea being: Alice goes to sleep, his soul actually
leaves his body during his dreams and starts wandering around, and somehow
it wanders into Hell and gets stuck there with all the other "lost
souls"... the point being that Alice's soul is so corrupt at this
point it belongs there anyway! Sort of like having a nightmare and not
being able to wake up from it (a pretty scary thought, actually). It follows
the creepshow principle of Welcome To My Nightmare, but in a more
intelligent way than its predecessor... the humor is more tongue-in-cheek,
while the horrors are more subtle. In fact there are no quote-unquote "horrors"
on this one... no world-conquering black widow spiders, no guys getting
it on with a chick's corpse, no schizophrenic murderers speaking in the
voices of children as they put pennies on their victim's eyes... but in
spite of that, Goes To Hell is still a great nightmare-album. Most
effective when played about an hour before dawn, imho.
As for the songs, they all pretty much work for me. The only substandard song on here is "You Gotta Dance," but remember this song was Alice's deliberate bust on Disco music (which he hated) and was therefore MEANT to sound cheesy. In other words, in Hell you're forced to dance to this shit, with the joke being that Hell & Disco are basically synonymous. The title track is also darkly humorous, and it has the single catchiest midsection riff I have EVER heard in a Cooper song. And as you pointed out, "Give The Kid A Break" is probably the most tongue-in-cheek of all... it's friggin' satanic doo-wop! I give Alice Cooper credit for presenting the Devil in the comical role of "the guy in the red suit," when bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were trying sooo hard to be viewed as respectable occultists. It's nice to see a rock star not taking Lucifer too seriously for once. As for the rest of the album, what's not to like? "I'm The Coolest" is so impossibly laid back and self-assured you gotta love it, and yeah, that bass line rules. "Didn't We Meet" has a neat sounding chorus ("So let's drink a few, cuz lookin' at you I swear, didn't we meet in the night in my sleep somewhere?") plus that really cool midsection with those spine-tingling little chimes. "Guilty" is kinda cheesy but it's still catchy & infectious. "I Never Cry" is actually a pretty good ballad in its own right. "Wake Me Gently" is sort of a funeral dirge for lost souls on Spanish guitar, melodramatic perhaps, but I still like it. And "Wish You Were Here" is more good devilish fun. But my vote for best song goes to "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" -- not only is it a perfect tragicomic climax for such a tragicomic album, but I can think of few other rock stars who could cover a song from 1921 as convincingly as this. Probably my favorite Alice Cooper song of all time, and I'm not kidding... it's truly that awesome. And I can think of no better ending for this album than "Going Home" -- a simple song of childlike celebration and thanks after the ordeal, and so humble compared to most of the other songs that it might be considered the moral of the story (i.e: vanity corrupts the soul, but humility redeems it).
Simply put, a great album. I give Alice Cooper Goes To Hell four and a half stars.
Peter Ross (11.12.2003)
This is seriously one of the funniest albums I've ever heard, and I
mean that in a good way. With some extremely clever lyrics and arrangements
("Give The Kid A Break" had me laughing out loud the first time
I heard it), not to mention top-notch instrumentation (that groove in "I'm
The Coolest" is terrific) and the ballads are nice as well. I especially
dig the corny Broadway overblown aspect of the title track. And you were
right about "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows." Not good!
Overall, I'd give this a 9 (13) on your scale, and a solid A- on mine.
Oh, and the guy who played bass on "I'm The Coolest" is none other than Tony Levin. He plays the bass on all the songs except the title track.
Since you've updated the Alice Cooper page and gave him an actual rating,
I figured I'd update my old letters, which were written when you were still
grading him using the temporary "one to five stars" method. For
Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, I don't have all that much to add to
what I already said ... but updating it to the current system, I would
give it a strong 9 or a weak 10. It's one of those cases where my head
says 9 but my heart says 10. It was one of my favorite albums when I was
a kid, so I guess the 10 is nostalgia talking. What can I say? I still
love it, even if I can't explain exactly why. It's not a stroke of genius
and it's not a timeless work of art. It's just really, really cool. And
okay, maybe I got a little carried away when I suggested "I'm Always
Chasing Rainbows" is the best thing that Cooper ever did, but I still
think it's one of his highpoints, and (along with "Going Home")
probably my favorite part of the album. That's about it, I guess. Oh yeah,
and the little red "medieval woodcarving" picture in the liner
notes of the crocodile eating the guy was an amusing little touch.
A side note -- it's Alice Cooper's birthday today (Feb 4th) which is what reminded me to write. He's getting close to 60 and he's still turning out good stuff. Maybe not on the same caliber as his old stuff, but still light years ahead of most of the shit coming out these days. I don't idolize him like I used to when I was a kid, but I have to give the man credit for staying power. Happy birthday, Alice.
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Must throw my two cents worth in on this one as I got this album for my birthday when this came out in the seventies. I have got to say that an Alice Cooper live album leaves one scratching one's head as it is a show to be seen. Long before there was Kiss, there was the Alice Cooper group. A tremendous live show if there ever was one. After that superb band broke up, Alice went Vegas in my opinion. Hell, this live offering was even recorded at the Aladdin Hotel in...you guessed it, Las Vegas. There is the explanation for the shortened songs and medley form hits. Vegas baby...keep it moving. Alice Cooper has always been a very underrated songwriter in my opinion. A good lyricist with a sharp wit. Yes I know a lot of people think 'You and Me' is a stupid song but did you know Frank Sinatra covered that song? That's got to be the ultimate compliment for a songwriter when 'ole blue eyes thinks enough of one of your tunes to cover it himself. Can't be that bad. Unfortunately, Alice chose a time in his life when he was battling severe alcoholism to record this live album. As a result, his vocal performances on occasion do not tend to be up to par. Agree strongly with George that 'I Love The Dead' is chilling. 'I'm Eighteen' is slowed down considerably. 'I Never Cry' and 'You And Me' don't stand up to the originals but the Nightmare medley is a lot of fun. Dick Wagner and the boys do an admirable job throughout. The music is nearly flawless. Soon after this album, Alice checked into rehab and kicked alcoholism for good, but years later his performance on this album disturbed him so greatly that he recorded another live album in the 90's called A Fistfull Of Alice recorded at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo club in Mexico that blows this one to smithereens.
If I could add something on your review of The Alice Cooper Show, in defence of Alice's saying "I'm eighteen and I like it" when he's about 30 or something. Actually this is something I heard on an interview with him on the same subject: the Alice Cooper character he portrays is whatever age he wants to be, he does not age like Alice Cooper the person. That means it's perfectly justifiable for Alice Cooper the character to continue to sing teenage anthems live, while it's less justifiable for the Who to sing their teenage anthems now (but hey, it's good music so who really cares?)
Alice Cooper's experiences in the insane asylum? More like the inane
asylum, if you ax me. This cornball conglomeration of ultra-commercial,
pseudo Elton John, a.m.radio tripe was very nearly the lowest point of
Alice Cooper's career in the 1970s, surpassed in awfulness only by the
unbelievably shitty Lace and Whiskey (an album so bad that I cannot
even bring myself to critique it on this site). To give you an idea of
what I'm talking about, consider that I didn't like From The Inside
even when I was 15 years old, and at that age I was half-tempted to build
Alice Cooper an altar in the back yard and worship him as a deity (ah the
blissful ignorance of youth). From The Inside lacks the youthful
innovation and garage-band edge of his early 70's stuff, lacks the skillful
(albeit cheesy) theatrics of his mid-70s stuff, lacks the stripped-down
punk spunk of his early 80's stuff, lacks the experimental weirdness of
his obscure late 60's stuff ... lacks, in fact, just about everything.
In fact, it's easier to describe it by what it LACKS than by what it HAS.
About the only songs on here worth mentioning are "The Quiet Room,"
which only stands out because it's slightly less cheesy and slightly more
thought-provoking than the rest of the album, and "How You Gonna See
Me Now" which is just another Alice Cooper power ballad in the vein
of all the others he was doing at the time, but which must be at least
half-decent because it's my favorite song on the album, for some weird
reason (they also made a pretty cool video for it, actually). And "Inmates
(We're All Crazy)" is kinda interesting in a way, but too overproduced
and commercial sounding to really impress me much ... which is really the
key flaw to the entire album. Sorry, but insanity loses some of its impact
when it's shrink-wrapped and packaged for commercial consumption. If you
want to hear a truly impressive Alice Cooper song about insanity, REAL
insanity as opposed to this cheeseball stuff, check out "The Ballad
of Dwight Fry" from his 1971 release "Love It To Death."
You know, it's funny how Alice Cooper and Elton John were close friends throughout most of the 70's, and pretty much hit their peaks and lows in that decade simultaneously... 1971-73 and 1977-78, respectively. You gotta wonder how much they collaborated, especially with cheese-wiz supreme Bernie Taupin as a go-between. I'd give From The Inside maybe one and a half stars, maybe two. But your rating of three and a half stars strikes me as ridiculous... especially considering that you gave School's Out only three (heretic!!!) :-)
David K. Monroe (15.03.2002)
This is the direction I wish Cooper had stayed in during the 80's. I bought this album several years after its release, and I consider it a lost gem. It's just so dang SILLY, and that's what Alice Cooper should be! All the terror had been squelched out of the Alice Cooper image by 1980, what with golf and machine-gun toting chickens and "Hollywood Squares", but this album strikes a perfect niche that the Coop should have thrived in. It's practically a comedy record! "Clones", "Aspirin Damage", "Nuclear Infected", even "Pain", which resorts to slapstick ("I'm the lump on your head when you step on the rake"); every track puts a stupid smile on my face whenever I hear it. He never did it this well again - Special Forces was almost in the same vein, but had lots of filler and bum tracks (such as "Who Do You Think We Are", which tried to be scary, sounded like it was supposed to be funny, and succeeded at neither; and "You're A Movie" and "Skeletons in My Closet", both so lackluster they give new meaning to the term,"phoned-in."), and subsequent albums were hardly better. The only thing about it that's disappointing is the very wimpy production. The songs all have a very early 80's, Roy Thomas Baker kind of sound, with, IMHO, crappy background vocals by Flo and Eddie. A grittier, rawer production would have served him much better.
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Look for the pun in the title "Former Lee Warmer" (formerly
warmer?), perhaps this is an indication that the brother is actually dead
(cold), and the narrator taking care of him is insane (like Norman Bates
in Psycho) and thinks the brother is still alive.
Also, I think "Pass the Gun Around" may be a bit more the reqiuem for the alcoholic than your hint in your site. The gun could very well be a metaphor for the drink ("give everyone a shot", sounds like it could be a "shot" of whiskey or whatever he drank.) The gunshot in the end, instead of his literally shooting himself, could be a metaphor for alcohol poisoning finally getting the better of him (either alcohol poisoning or the addiction itself.)
Except for that I really liked and enjoyed reading your review of Dada, spot on work, George.
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By the year 2000 many fans believed that Alice Cooper's better days were over. However, he shocked the world by putting out his finest release in years. Brutal Planet is a much heavier sounding album by Alice and offers some of his most shocking lyrics in years. Every song deals with the subject of what a Brutal world we are becoming. The songs are shocking because some of the things mentioned on this album have already happened or likely will. This album also was the basis for his highly successful Brutal Planet tour which featured his best stageshow in years. Standouts on this album include "Gimmer", "It's The Little Things" and the awesome "Pick Up The Bones."
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I read the review, saw the crack about the Strokes, and thought to myself
'wow, I bet he gets some nasty flames for that one.' Then I checked and
realized the horrible, horrible truth: NO ONE READ THE FRICKIN' REVIEW!!!
Kidding aside, my two cents on the matter is that you have to be predisposed toward Cooper to reach that conclusion. Is Alice Cooper a better group (or artist, as he subsequently became) than the Strokes? Absolutely. But, as you said, this is a tossed off album, and while that engenders a charming, laid back feel to it, it doesn't change the fact that somewhat catchy half-baked melodies can't compare to some of the exceptional, hook-filled songs the Strokes have made. As you said, these are primitive riffs, and the Strokes have come up with plenty of comparatively complex, creative ones, with cool vocal melodies to boot.
I'm assuming you've never really given the Strokes and their ilk a chance (I'm not saying you should; they're good, but I'm well aware that you don't have all the time in the world to listen to every good group), but as much as I love Cooper, he (he actually legally changed his name to it, didn't he?) really can't compete with the Strokes when he doesn't even bother trying. His lack of effort is glaring; I'm not complaining, he succeeds at what he's trying to do, but when you don't aim high you don't achieve all that much. It's amazing that this works as well as it does; it's a genuinely enjoyable listen. By far the weakest AC album I have, but that's inevitable, as the only others I have are Killer and Dada which rip this to shreds. Damnit, the individualist in me wishes I could say that the fact that I own the two you most recommend is a coincidence...
Anyway, in closing: all future flamers, I've defended the good name of the Strokes, so don't feel compelled to send something like THE STROKES FUKKIN ROKK THEY ROKK THEY ROKK THEY ROKK!!!!!!!!! ALICE IS A SISSY NAME I BET HEEZ A FAG LIKE U U MUST BE A FAG CAUSE I DISAGREE WITH YOU! THEY RRRRRROOOOOOKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was what I was going to write myself, but then realized I shouldn't squander brilliance of that magnitude on something that can be viewed free of charge.
This is a good album, and I do recommend it, but don't make it your first AC purchase. Go with Killer, an excellent album with some of their best songs ('Halo Of Flies', 'Dead Babies', 'Under My Wheels'). Just listened to it again today and it still holds up.