Alice Cooper released lots of excellent records in his golden period in the 1970s ranging from jazz to glam rock and beyond. In the early 80s he released 3 "punk" records, that I totally adore for a lot of reasons. After that he went into an all time low pop period releasing his worst record outputs ever, best known by the awful pop song Poison. In 1994 he re-found the magic releasing the brilliant concept album The Last Temptation, and after that he moved from heavy metal to garage rock and all of it with a high quality.
The question is now, what's up with the new album Along Came A Spider that is once again a concept album, telling the story of a serial killer named Spider (also with references to a well known Cooper character Steven.) Spider collects one leg from each of his victims to build his own spider. Musically it is a step away from garage, and mostly being a mix of glam rock and a ballad or two. Wake The Dead is a pretty good song, and Catch Me If You Can is perhaps the best up-tempo rocker on the album. Especially the really great ballad Killed By Love stands out, because this is a type of song that Alice masters as few and this is no exception. Also the slow and epic song Salvation deserves a mention. It is almost good enough to match the songs from the last concept album The Last Temptation, something only few songs on the new album is capable of.
The main problem is that most of the songs on the new album are below par. They are simply not good enough. Also the story that drives the album is a bit weak, and not detailed enough to be really interesting. The band however plays well enough, the songs fit consistently together and the production is fine. All in all this is a step down on the stairs of quality, but given the quality of the 5 albums before it, I feel quite certain that The Coop will return with a better album next time.