Reviewed by Keith Singleton
IN THE MAINSTREAM
"Forget what you think you know", states the advert for Ali, the new film about Mohammed Ali. I think the same can be said of Alice Cooper. I have been following Alice Cooper closely since I read a few years back now in CR that he had announced his Christian faith. So far, everything I have read and heard has served only to confirm it. 'Dragontown' is part two of a trilogy, which began with 2000's 'Brutal Planet', depicting Gods Earth as having been ravaged by sinful mankind. This album continues the theme, but the emphasis here is more individual. "Sex, Death & Money" talks about titillation on TV and in clubs, and how even though we find it offensive, we still get drawn into it, and how protesting to the powers that be gets nowhere because of the big money involved. Strong stuff, but very honest. "Fantasy Man" talks about the confusion of gender roles in modern society and "Sister Sara" is about a nun that fell from grace into a life of sin and became a trophy for Satan. My personal favourites on the album are "Disgraceland", a brilliant Elvis impersonation, again highlighting the effect of sin if we allow it (Went to the pearly gates/said, "I'm here to sing" And Peter said "Well son, We already got ourselves a King"), and "It's Much Too Late", the most in your face song on the album, talking about living a good life but still not making it to Heaven (Now it's much too late/My time has passed away/All my plans and dreams have all ended/Now it's much too late/To try and plead my case/And I don't know the God I've offended/It's too late). Superb. Generally, the musical style of the album is in the same vein as Brutal Planet, i.e. VERY heavy as you would expect from Mr Cooper. I feel the lyrics are very poignant and considering he is not a CCM artist, the lyrics put a lot of woolly CCM wordsmiths to shame. I can't wait for part three of the trilogy!
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