Alice Cooper

Columbia Records, 1989

REVIEW BY: Roland Fratzl


Yup, that's exactly what this album is, trash.

My rating for this album will probably surprise a few people, but to me this is the worst album of Alice Cooper's career. I assume that after panicking due to a lacklustre commercial response to the previous two comeback albums (the woeful Constrictor and the laughable Raise Your Fist And Yell), he decided to get a who's-who of record industry big shots to meticulously craft a "perfect" comeback album which could not fail to ignite sales.

Oh, Trash was very successful in that sense...upon its release in 1989, I believe it became one of the best selling Alice Cooper records ever, if not the best, but not because of superb songwriting...almost all of the songs are soul-less, middle of the road obvious attempts at commercial success rather than trying to say something interesting. Except for "Poison", which admittedly is a good song, the rest of the material is utter lowest common denominator, safe, gut wrenchingly nauseating, standard 80's mainstream pop metal shlock. A completely overproduced turd.

Ironically, after many lyrical tales and stories on excellent past albums about going to hell, selling your soul, and other stuff along those lines, Alice sold himself out to get a big hit again. The whole thing sounds like Alice told renowned predictable corporate rock hit-maker extraordinaire Desmond Child (who also produced the album into the slickly polished quagmire that it is) and his fellow pencil pushing big wigs to give him a hit album, which they created, and then had him come in and sing what they told him to.

It feels like Alice had very little input in the creative process at all...during his classic period, he never stooped to the total low brow lyrics and subject matter, like stupid infatuations, sex and mindless sleaze from the perspective of a twelve year old, and even had the gall to try to sound serious doing it in a slew of horrible Bon Jovi/80's Aerosmith style power ballads and tame rock songs that this album is awash in...the style doesn't suit Alice one iota. He sounds completely out of place. And guess what boys and girls! Take one guess as to who makes a guest appearance on this album! Vincent Price? Oh no, now that would be much too frightening and might hurt potential no, it's none other than Bon Jovi and Aerosmith! *applause*....yah right, this abomination sounds more like a Bon Jovi or Aerosmith album with Alice doing guest vocals, than as an Alice Cooper album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

What a triumph for marketing though...but then again, people in general are stupid sheep who will buy anything that is considered "in" or "trendy", which are things that are totally determined by large record companys' in-your-face propaganda... like mindless cattle they will flock to whatever they see advertised or what they might hear things about, especially if they think that owning the particular album in question will make them popular. How sick.

So, after that bitter little tangent, my summary is this: "Poison" is the only good song contained on the fittingly titled Trash, and the rest is complete filler that doesn't have, even for a second, not even a hint of any of the qualities which made Alice Cooper the genius that he was with his endless talent for being insightful, intelligent, humourous, and scary, often at the same time, in the past.

Who is this guy? I don't know this Alice, and I don't even think Alice knows the Alice on here, because the only recognition he ever gives this disc during his live shows these days is by playing "Poison" and nothing else, while he still perfoms virtually all of the material from albums that are almost twenty years older than Trash. Believe me, that speaks volumes in itself.

When I listen to this, I have a vision of an assembly line of pop metal cd's flying past on a factory conveyor belt in 1989, with each disc containing the identical music, but the manufacturer would get labels randomly alternating between Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, etc.

The album is completely devoid of soul from one of rock's most soulful songwriters. This is not Alice Cooper in my opinion...this is disposable pop metal that hilariously enough sounds more dated than anything he recorded in the 70's. So, it may have sold several million trendy copies, but it sure as hell didn't yield any classics or fan favourites for his glorious resume. Hands down the worst album of his illustrious career, and along with Constrictor perhaps the only one I would be embarrassed to play in front of anybody.

However, I admit that I don't really blame him for going this route because he hadn't had a successful album in over a decade by 1989, and I'm sure he didn't want to wind up trying to make ends meet at age 65 by playing dingy bars in Topeka to five drunks and a poodle. That having been said, the album was clearly designed in a very shrewd and calculating manner as a one shot gimmick with its overtly dumbed-down approach and radio friendly syrupy pop hooks to appeal to horny teenagers in the late 80', unless you were one of those horny airheaded teens in the late 80's who subscribed to this tripe, chances are you won't find much to like about this lyrically vapid, bottom-of-the-barrel scraping joke. Man, at least Raise Your Fist And Yell was funny. Fans of Alice's harder, edgier, intelligent work will loathe this conforming empty schlock.

At the risk of sounding redundant, I'm just so carried away that I feel I must recap my thoughts in order to effectively hammer home the point: This is Alice Cooper's worst album hands down because it's simply not an Alice Cooper album; it's an album crafted from a cookie cutter mold by a big corporation according to the purely current trend of that time. I can totally understand why this shitlog was so popular at the time, but it's also painfully obvious why real Cooper fans have disowned it. Gives a totally false impression of an otherwise brilliant artist. An insult to all Coop fans. Offensively bad.

There, I believe the record is set straight that this is his darkest hour and that nobody should own it. I start to tremble and break out in sweat everytime I think what a shocking amount of people not just consider this to be a good album, but actually have that magical level of stupidity that they think this is one of his best works.

Sheesh...welcome to MY nightmare indeed.

Rating: F

User Rating: D


© 2001 Roland Fratzl and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia Records, and is used for informational purposes only.