Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies

Who puts snakeskin on an LP gatefold? The same kind of man who would sing about necrophilia, that's who. But don't let that scare you off, necessarily: there's also a fabulous reworking of an earlier track as "Elected" (whose snark and brass section deserve airplay every November), tables turned with male sexual harassment in "Raped And Freezin'" and no doubt a vignette of Cooper's daily life in "No More Mr. Nice Guy," which really must be simultaneously experienced in the so-tacky-it's-great Pat Boone cover. But, yes, the creepy stuff. If you have the stomach for this sort of satire, what's notable is how, uh, tactfully it's approached: there's just enough menace in "Billion Dollar Babies" (and Donovan on guest vocals) to get the point across, just enough implication in "I Love The Dead" to hint not all is platonic. Only "Sick Things" gets a little too literal and "Generation Landslide"'s topical content gets boring and preachy. Nevertheless, do remember this album's not for everyone; there's even a song about the horrors of the dental chair, complete with groans and drill ("Unfinished Sweet"). Sir, at long last, is it safe? (Content: adult themes.)