Alice Cooper - Brutal Planet

Friday 1st December 2000
Alice Cooper - Brutal Planet
Alice Cooper - Brutal Planet

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 2551-16739

Reviewed by Pippa Rimmer

Christendom was much encouraged when 70s hell raiser Alice Cooper confessed his new found Christian faith. Fans of heavy rock weren't t disappointed by his 1996 offering 'The Last Temptation'. 'Brutal Planet' is the much-awaited follow up with all the usual heavy rock whistles and bells in place. The album covers the hopelessness of this brutal planet we inhabit - the sin and ugliness we are exposed to, the mess we create each day and the senselessness of it all. Laudable sentiments that we aft feet from time to time but at least we can usually muster up some faith to believe that it's not all that bad really and that God is in control whatever the circumstance. Worryingly, Brutal Planet is devoid of such hope and I struggled to find a fragment of faith in the whole thing. The title track informs us that "it's such a brutal planet, such a living hell; it was a holy garden that's right where Adam fell" while imploring "Why don t you come down?" to a God who has already visited this planet with his love and salvation. The song continues in the same vein: the horror of it all, the ugliness of the crucifixion and the holocaust, but it still left me waiting for the positive antithesis. Some delightful acerbic comments are directed at the wastefulness of America in "Eat Some More" and draws attention to "60 million tons of meat spoiling in the heat while the poor are begging for a single bite, our garbage dumps are mountains high". In a disgusting picture of an overfed, over indulged culture, Cooper reviles those who "stuff it in your face, it's not nice to waste, we're not happy 'til we're choking, so we eat some more, throw up on the floor". Other songs verge on the macabre: the dark "Pick Up The Bones" talks of links with the past; "Pessi-mystic" describes the hopelessness he feels about every day events, uttering the haunting words "I'm pessimistic, I'm so fatalistic. I like being sick this way so shut up". Musically, this is outstanding. Cooper has lost none of his trademark anger and passion and the crushing rock beat carries the whole thing along at an ear-shattering pace. But the disappointing thing is that Cooper only presents us with half the picture and there is certainly no hope at the end of this dark musical tunnel. Maybe he was just in a bad mood when he wrote the songs. Maybe 21st century living has caught up with him. Or maybe this is simply a man trying to unravel the complexities of the darkness of the soul.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Bob in Ontario @ 04:57 on Jun 5 2009

I've been a social worker and psychotherapist for about 15 years now. This album shines a light on the ugly reality of sin in a broken world--brutal planet indeed.

There are passages in the Bible that present such an outlook. I'm reminded of God's comments around the time of the flood story. He was grieved that he had created us in light of all the evil he saw.

I believe Alice has caught a glimpse of this, and it's a very important reality to recognize.

I think it is in light of this reality that we can more deeply appreciate the love that God has for his fallen creation. When I think that God sees all of this, and still reaches out to each of us with love, forgiveness and the power to change, it's overwhelming.

The harsh reality portrayed in this album makes the songs of hope and salvation in his other works all the more meaningful.

It was also nice to realize I'm not the only one that has seen the darkest side of human nature; and believe me, I have. Thanks for sharing the journey Alice. God bless ya.

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