Brutal Planet should have been a great album, what with the presence of Ezrin. However, one of the busiest producers around, Bob Marlette, got his hands on it and made it sound far too generic. The riffs were dull and the album thudded boringly, with so little of that classic Alice personality.
Dragontown is like Alice waking up. It's a transition from Brutal Planet to Eyes Of, which celebrated a return to classic 70's Alice. It's not quite there yet, but it's getting there. Marlette is still producing, but this time he and Cooper have decided to brighten the whole affair.
There are a couple really outstanding songs here. "Every Woman Has A Name" sounds like something Alice would have done with Ezrin. It's a lush song with strings that recalls "Only Women Bleed" or "It's Only My Heart Talking". Also great is "It's Much Too Late", which reminds me of "Wind Up Toy" from 1991. It has a lot of the old Alice 70's vibe too, it's fantastic. Very pop. Modern production is left off this one, the instruments sound cleaner and bright.
"Triggerman", the opening track, is fast with an industrial sound, but with much more emphasis on melody than Brutal Planet. "Disgraceland" features Alice doing quite a great Elvis impersonation, and the band are kicking back in a rockabilly groove too. Some might consider this track fluff, and it's definitely different than any other on the album, but it's pretty fun.
Unfortunately "Deeper" is just basically a rewrite of Brutal Planet's title track, with some "Blessed By Fire" mixed in. Just a boring, uninteresting track, with terrible sounding cymbal samples and a muddy riff that is just horrifically generic.
The bonus disc here is totally worth owning, even for casual Alice fans. Actually, especially for them in a way, because it'll give them exposure to some other awesome Alice tracks they may have missed. "Go To Hell" and "Dwight Fry" are live. (I cannot tell you if they are same versions as on Brutally Live or not, but I suspect that they are.) "Clowns Will Eat Me" was previously only available on Japanese import, and it's a great party track that fits much better in Dragontown than Brutal Planet for which it was recorded. Finally there's the remix of "Brutal Planet" itself which gives it a Rob Zombie feel. It's not a superior mix, (I miss the female backing vocal) but I always dig robots talking.
on July 6, 2004
Dragontown is the follow-up to the Coop's new direction on 2000's Brutal Planet. Brutal Planet was an excellent album, and following it up is definitely a difficult task, but Cooper does so, and with flying colors.
Triggerman - 100% This song is excellent. Great guitar intro, lyrics, chorus. It's not as noticeably heavy or angry as the opener/title track of Brutal Planet, but it works, and makes a good opener.
Deeper - 95% We'll, we're goin' deeper into Brutal Planet down to Dragontown now. Good percussive work at the beginning. We got the Cooper lyrics here, and the way he "sings" this song really fits the atmosphere.
Dragontown - 100% Oriental sounding intro. This song, is a lot like the title track to Brutal Planet, even though they don't sound similar. The same basic theme is there, and it worked before, and it works again. "You're really going to like this." Darn right you will. Did I mention it's got a good chorus?
Sex, Death, and Money - 95% Bass intro. This song is a little weird. First pass just seems like Cooper wants to toss out Sex and Death and Money all together, but, somehow, it works. This is one of the heavier tracks off of the album, and fits well with the overall theme of the album.
Fantasy Man - 85% Cooper's humor resurfaces from "It's The Little Things" on Brutal Planet on this song "Don't send flowers/or take showers" - well even with the lack of bathing, this song certainly doesn't stink, it's just one of my personal favorites, but a welcome song on the album at any rate.
Somewhere in Jungle - 90% I like the "feel" of this song, it works well. It's not really angry, nothing on this album really is like on Brutal Planet, everything here is more just a look at this Dragontown place. This song does a good job. Another great chorus.
Disgraceland - 100% Where the heck did this come from? This song is easily my favorite off the album, and was wonderful live. This song really doesn't fit the theme of the album... although, it's not too far off the mark. Not that it would matter. It's a good song. Cooper does an awesome Elvis impersonation (even live.) Cooper's humor is definitely out in force on this song, making it quite enjoyable. "He ate his weight in country ham" He sure did.
Sister Sara - 95% Starts off nice and heavy. Has Brutal Planet-esque female vocals, that work well with Cooper's voice in telling the story of a "nun havin' fun."
Every Woman Has A Name - 90% Yet another ballad from the Coop. Much in the same vein as "Take it Like A Woman" from Brutal Planet, yet different enough to be enjoyable. Cooper once again proves that he's a proficient ballad writer.
I Just Wanna Be God - 90% This is an interesting song. Nice and heavy, with some intriguing lyrics. Basically: Satan wants to be God. That's really all you need to know.
It's Much Too Late - 85% The style of this song is quite different then the prevailing style on Dragontown. It's lighter and peppier, if you will. His singing style is a bit different here. In fact, this song would probably fit on The Eyes of Cooper... right there with "Man of the Year." This is a good song, with a good chorus, and lyrically, it mostly fits with the theme of Dragontown.
The Sentinel - 95% Nice closer. Heavy, with something interesting lyrics about terrorists. Interesting is used loosely. "Connect the green wire here/or was it red?" Another great chorus from Cooper.
Dragontown concludes the intertwined concepts of Brutal Planet and Dragontown. It also marks the end of Cooper's heavier direction, as Eyes harkened back to his garage days. At least he created two solid albums that, in my opinion, are some of his best.
One note that I forgot to mention on my Brutal Planet review is the production of these two albums. Absolutely fantastic. Every instrument is clear, and Cooper's voice is never buried in the mix. Good production also creates a better listening to experience, and the production on these two albums don't leave much to be desired.
My final score is a 9/10, which of course Amazon doesn't account for.
on March 17, 2004
After hearing the great work Alice did with a new deeper sound on Brutal Planet, i was hoping this album would deliver aswell. But IMO it failed! Only a handfull of songs did I think were good! It does contain a great, and one of my fav Alice songs called "Fantasey Man" which is somthign i feel i can relate to, and found to be a great song. Alice slows down a notch and does another slow song called "Every Woman Has A Name" which seems to be a song about Alice lost a dear freind? I'm not sure, but its a nice little number! "DiscrgraceLand" is Alice singing a bit like Elvis as a...well, i wouldnt call it a tribute? its like Elvis has gone to hell and Alice has sung about it!
I really only liked about 4 of the 12 songs on this album.
The rest were very disapointing IMO.... It is my second least fav album by Alice with Schools Out coming in at #1 which I only liked 2 out of the 9 track son that one!
I possible recomendation? That speichel edition of Dragon Town with the extras , if you get a good deal on it, this Album didnt appeal to me and lacked that classic quality that Alice adds to any form of Rock N Roll. It just didnt shien on this one!
on August 1, 2003
This latest effort by the Godfather of Shock Rock has proven beyond reasonable doubt that after 30 years of recording, he NEVER AGES! In almost every CD, Alice Cooper is able to regenerate his sound and theatrical concept to successfully adapt to upcoming music scenes of the current generation. 2001's "Dragontown" is no exception. I can best describe this album's nature as that of "Brutal Planet-Part 2" because Cooper chose to continue experimenting with the roaring metal bass guitars and stomping drums he introduced through his previous effort. What makes "Dragontown" different, however, is that the tracks exhibit a little bit more melody here. Generally, this CD is meant to be a frightning carnival tour through the village of the same name; situated just a few miles off the fiery road to Hell, it's a depraved town steeped in sin, one where the ground is foul with the corpses of Chinese civilians, and damned souls immerse themselves in endless indulgences of sleaze and violence. I have quite a few favorites among the 12 songs. While listening to the slow, swaying rhythm of "Sex, Death & Money," one can almost smell the sweat of aroused flesh and envision the blinking colored lights of a XXX Peepshow. Interestingly, Alice used this track to express how appalled he was in witnessing the latest films unleashed by the entertainment industry; he could not believe how much gross sexual humor and explosive violence are shamelessly exploited by the movie business just to sell tickets! Where do we draw the line? "Fantasy Man" is a humorous little ditty about the average dirty, lazy, trash-talkin', beer-drinkin', all-around Couch Potato MAN. "Somewhere in the Jungle" is similar to "Pick Up the Bones," only here it concerns the enormous massacre of warring African tribes; upon hearing the track, I picture in my mind the dismembered heads and limbs molded together in a bleeding, narrow column. "Disgraceland" is another slice of black humor, and it tells the story of how Elvis Presley was sent to Hell because he wasted his remaining years as a fat, heavily medicated, Las Vegas lounge singer (and then died his own bathroom!). "Sister Sara" is a loud, slow tale starring a nun who abandons her Christian faith in exchange for drugs and prostitution, only to die and wind up enslaved by Cooper's Satanic alter ego! Anyway, I could go on and on writing about the remaining sections of "Dragontown," but I don't want to make you readers feel bored. What I can safely say in the end is that Alice Cooper gets better with time, and the "Dragontown" CD is solid proof of this. Get it while you can!
on July 28, 2003
So, the pop metal phase has finished, as did the art-rock phase twenty years ago, and the father of shock rock has once again ascended to the heavy metal throne.
No-one in hard rock or heavy metal writes better lyrics than Alice Cooper, and his raw, gritty voice has lost absolutely none of his power even now as he has entered his mid-fifties. He manages to be simultaneous compassionate, furious, sardonic and threatening - just listen to the evil Elvis-satire "Disgraceland" (is that really Cooper singing?!), or the poignant, yet powerful ballad "Every Woman Has A Name", a succesful throwback to the days of "Only Women Bleed".
This album is highlighted by the slow, sludgy rap/heavy fusion track "I Just Wanna Be God", the melodious "Every Woman Has A Name", the furious "Triggerman" and the harsh "Fantasy Man". Cooper's vocals has never been better, and this album finally restores him to his former glory.
No pop metal or weird prog-rock anthems here, just pure, unadulterated heavy metal, and the one of the best and most versatile solo album Cooper has ever made.
on February 18, 2003
Alice must have been satiated by venting his steam and anger on "Brutal Planet," because "Dragontown" is back-to-basics Alice Cooper without the ranting. Which suits me fine! Once again, there is an array of characters all vying for the spotlight here, from the mysterious but deadly "Triggerman," a fallen from grace nun in "Sister Sara," and even a visit from Elvis. "DisGraceland" is easily the highlight of this CD. Alice takes one of America's sacred cows and spins him on the spit with a hilarious narrative of how El discovers that in Heaven, "we already got ourselves a King," and Rock and Roll Hell has deemed him to be little more than "just a side man here." Set to a pseudo rockabilly arrangement, Alice even turns in a passable Presley imitation.
The rest of "Dragontown" (especially the title cut) has Alice giving us a guided tour of many of his old haunts. There are mad men rocking like crazy ("The Sentinel") travelling alongside hypocrites who eventually get their just desserts ("Sex Death And Money"). Even the obvious re-tread of "Every Woman Has A Name" comes out commendable, and is superior to "Brutal Planet's" similarly themed "Take It Like A Woman." Alice sings with a lot of guts here, sounding both mean and spirited, but never both at the same time. The guitars roar and the music thunders. If that fits your definition of a great Alice Cooper album, then pull right on into "Dragontown."
on January 31, 2003
This album is the third part of "The Last Temptation", "Brutal Planet" trilogy. This album came out in 2001 and was a HUGE seller. I bought this album about three weeks ago and I can't stop listening to it. The lyrics, the guitar solos, the beats are outstanding. Some of Alice's best work came out on this album.
The opening of the album, "Triggerman" is a awsome song. It starts out with a real fast drum beat and then a loud, heavy metal guitar riff. Alice starts singing the openeing lyrics "I ain't got a face. I ain't got name. I ain't got no fingerprints or DNA," in evil, dark, trashy and devilish voice. The song is full of loud, ground-breaking guitar riffs and drum beats. The title track anthem "Dragontown" includes some lyrics like in the chorus, "We can build you a hole, deep in the ground. Bury your sole down in DRAGONTOWN."
Other really good tunes are on this album like "Disgraceland". This album is a bit different than Alice's previous songs. Alice actually sings the lyrics as ELVIS. He did a really good job of singing in Elvis's voice! The song starts out with a Graceland acoustic country-boy guitar riff and then the heavy metal kicks in. This song Rocks! Also the heart-breaking ballad "Every Woman Has A Name." Alice's tone of voice in this song is so passionate and loving that it can make some people cry. It's the third part to the "It's Me", "Take It Like A Woman" triology.
If you think Alice is a heavy metal God (like I do), you'll love "I Just Wanna Be God". The title speaks for itself hands down, no questions asked, enough said. One of the last songs on the album, "It's Much Too Late" is a great song about events that happen throughout life.
Without this album of Alice's, you don't know what you're missing out on.
on January 23, 2003
I BOUGHT THIS ALBUM ABOUT A WEEK AGO AND WAS TOTALLY AMAZED WHEN I LISTENED TO IT. THIS ALBUM IS THE THIRD PART OF "THE LAST TEMPTATION", "BRUTAL PLANET" TRILOGY. ALICE HAS SOME GREAT HEAVY METAL TRACKS ON IT. THE OPENER "TRIGGERMAN" STARTS OUT WITH A FAST DRUM BEAT AND THEN HEAVY FAST GUITAR RIFFS. THE OPENING LYRICS ARE ALICE SINGING IN AN EVIL AND TRASHY TONE "I AIN'T GOT A FACE. I AIN'T GOT NO EYES. I AIN'T GOT NO FINGERPRINTS OR DNA." THEN THE TITLE TRACK "DRAGONTOWN" IS THE SONG OF THE ALBUM. GREAT RIFFS, GREAT ANTHEMETIC LYRICS SUCH AS THE CHORUS LIKE "WE CAN BUILD YOU A HOME, DEEP IN THE DOME, BURY YOUR SOUL, DOWN IN DRAGONTOWN." EVERYTHING THAT'S ALICE COOPER. ALSO THE COOL "DISGRACELAND" WHICH STARTS OUT WITH A GRACELAND ACOUSTIC GUITAR RIFF AND THEN THE HEAVY METAL KICKS IN WITH ALICE SINGING SOME OF THE LYRICS LIKE ELVIS (HE DID GOOD). ANOTHER ROCKER "SISTER SARA" IS A GOOD SONG OF PASSION AND HOPE.
THE BALLAD "EVERY WOMAN HAS A NAME" IS THE SONG THAT REALLY TOUCHED ME DEEP DOWN. ALICE CAN REALLY MAKE AN EFFECT ON ME WHEN I HEAR HIS BALLADS. THIS ONE IS ABOUT ALL DIFFERENT WOMEN WITH DREAMS AND HOPES WITH LYRICS LIKE "COCKTAIL WAITRESSES WITH DREAMS, EVERY WOMAN HAS A NAME". THE SONG HAS SUCH A LOVING TONE THAT I THINK I'VE NEVER HEARD FROM ALICE BEFORE. THIS SONG CAN BE LINKED TO HIS 1994 HIT "IT'S ME". ALSO THE SEMI-BALLAD ROCKER "IT'S MUCH TOO LATE" HAS A GOOD CHORUS TO IT LIKE "NOW IT MUCH TOO LATE, MY TIME HAS PASSED AWAY." ALICE IS ON FIRE!
TO NOT BUY THIS ALBUM IS ASKING FOR TROUBLE.
on November 26, 2002
The latest--and darkest--of Alice's releases takes us on a chilling tour of the underworld, rock-n-roll style. From the explosive opening of the anonymous "Triggerman" ("got no fingerprints or DNA; don't need an alibi cuz I don't exist") we are guided by the Master through his version of the apocalypse. Stops along the way include "Sex, Death, and Money," which is "the gospel here in Dragontown." Alice tells the amusing tale of how he was "so offended" as he "sat for 3 hours" at an adult entertainment show, where, "a couple hundred dollars later I was up on a morals rap." The Beatle-esque "It's Much Too Late" is dedicated to--and sounds very much like--the late John Lennon, who wonders why he's "down here" and plaintively claims that "there must be some mistake up there in heaven." The hilarious spoof of "Disgraceland" (which needs no explanation, really) reminds us that even a king can die on his throne; Alice spookily emulates the "once and former king's" voice to perfection. Our journey ends with the haunting tale of the "Sentinel," who smugly informs us that he's sending us all to hell (while he calmly sits, soldering his C2 bomb). Wonder what the Master can possibly do for an encore? Alice, you'll ALWAYS be MY "Fantasy Man!"
on November 1, 2002
Dragontown is surprisingly a very well done album. Brutal Planet, it's older brother, is considered a hard rock record that didn't thrill as much as it could have. Well, Dragontown thrills in an Old School way. There's a little of every Alice that has been presented in the past. The song, "Sex, Death, and Money", "Somewhere in the Jungle", "Deeper", and "Triggerman" are new and improved versions of Alice's "shock rock" persona, while songs like "Disgraceland", "Fantasy Man", and "It's Much Too Late" offer a satirical view on essential elements of American society, just like Alice did in past albums. You also recieve the more mellow ballad rock side of Alice Cooper, which was responsible for recruiting me into a loyal fan, in "Every Woman Has A Name".
Basically, don't look at this album as another hardrocking "nu-metal" attempt by an old geezer, look at Dragontown as an album that is deep-rooted in the legacy of Alice Cooper with a little bit of Brutal Planet, hardcore rock n roll edge to it. This album is worth every penny you put into it. Relate the tracks to old Alice Cooper songs and you'll be surprised with how much this album really does define Alice Cooper.