REVIEW: Alice Cooper – “Don’t Give Up” (2020 iTunes)

ALICE COOPER – “Don’t Give Up” (2020 iTunes)

Thank God for Alice Cooper! 50 years ago, he was considered by the mainstream to be nothing more than an untalented shock rocker. In 2020, he is inspiring people to keep on keepin’ on. He’s got a powerful message for anyone who needs to hear it.

“Don’t Give Up” is the most direct, the most topical and the least “Alice” song that the Coop has ever done. Why the “least” Alice? Because this time he is not playing a character. He’s not telling some horrifying bedtime story. Or is he? “Don’t Give Up” is about Coronavirus and blatantly so.

“Yeah, I know you’re struggling right now. We all are, in different ways. It’s like a new world that we don’t even know. It’s hard to sleep, even harder to dream. But look, you got seven billion brothers and sisters all in the same boat! So don’t panic. Life has a way of surviving and going on and on. We’re not fragile and we sure don’t break easy.”

This single was recorded in home studios.  It’s accompanied by a cool video expertly produced by Canuck Frank Gryner, using footage sent in by fans.  It is so rare for Alice to really make a statement that pertains to current events.  And it is a very specific song; there are no underlying stories or metaphors to untangle.  But when you think about Coop, it’s not really surprising that he came out of the gates so fast with a song like this.  Alice Cooper is a human being that cares about other human beings.  The message is simple:  keep fighting and don’t give up.  Sometimes people need to actually hear the words.

Musically you could call “Don’t Give Up” a power ballad.  It has a very 80’s guitar figure, with Alice speaking his message over it.  The chorus is more modern, with Alice singing as plaintively as he can.  “Don’t Give Up” is unremarkable as a rock ballad, but as a lyrical accomplishment, Alice has forged new ground 50 years on.  He has written some remarkably powerful words.

“Our enemy is a cold, indiscriminate monster.  It doesn’t care if you’re old or a newborn.  It exists to kill.  You and I are nothing to it.  It has no heart or soul or conscience.  Do we fear it? Yeah! Do we cower before it? Hell no! We’re the blood-n-guts human race. And we win.”

The important thing that Alice says here is that it is alright to be afraid.  Look, Alice has fought demons, and if this scares him then there is no shame in feeling fear.  People are being labelled as cowards for wearing a mask in public.   Alice is right — we will win, and we will do whatever it takes to win.  If you’re scared right now, you tell ’em that Alice Cooper said that’s OK.

3.5/5 stars

 

19 comments

  1. No one should give anyone shit for wearing a mask in public now, but the people wearing masks alone in their own cars are ridiculous. I read somebody saying that’s like wearing a condom laying down alone in your own bed. I’m not wearing a mask, because it just weakens your immune system, and I’m not coughing or sneezing so there’s really no way I’m gonna transfer it to the people if I do have it and just don’t have any symptoms.

    It may be dangerous, but it’s been totally blown out of proportion by the fearmongering profiteering media. Also by the states who over-reported the death rate by counting anyone that died while having the virus as a Corona-Virus death, even if it wasn’t the virus that killed them. And way more people had it than they originally thought, but they never displayed any symptoms.

    This guy gets it.

    Oh, and the Alice song is cool! Is this the first studio track of his Nita has played on?

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Had to take a shit and then respond to a shit’s comment, eh?

          Kick ass! Excrement is fun! All the cool kids know that. Instead of sandboxes, we should have shitboxes! And build shit castles by the shit sea filled with poop and pee! Yay!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Although I wonder at this point if there is any reason I should try to act professional, at certain times of the day, you can be assured I am responding to your comment while undergoing bowel movements. I don’t know about your shitboxes idea though. Still trying to convince Jen we need a farthole.

          Like

    1. Yeah, still putting out music, and I believe he was already working on a new album too. This is after Paranormal, a live album, and an EP! The guy never stops. I wonder if these Covid tunes coming out now will ever see a physical release. The Stones song is the only one I know of to be released on CD or vinyl.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alice Cooper has a very fine sense of comedy, and I like that he usually has a laugh or two waiting in store. This is remarkably straight for him, but I love his positivity and realism. I would rather hear this than the new Queen “You Are the Champions”, though as I continue to download new singles from iTunes, I am sure I will get there…

      Liked by 1 person

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