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Alice Cooper - Detroit Stories Award winner

Alice Cooper
Detroit Stories
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 28 March 2021, 7:08 AM

As time passes by, everyone has a deep need to reconnect to the past. It’s something that comes from inside, because some features are marked deeply in the subconscious memories of all. Maybe it can be a deception, maybe no, it depends on each person with the experience. But musically, the main tendency is to generate something good. And in the case of Auntie ALICE COOPER, things tends to be very good, as can be heard on “Detroit Stories”, his (the “auntie” above is a custom from old nephews and nieces, or in other words, the longtime fans) latest album.

This album can be said as a ‘back-to-basics’ experience, because it reminds a lot the classical approach of Alice’s early album, the golden age when ALICE COOPER meant to be the band’s name, and not a solo effort like today. But as the original member are all playing on the album in some tracks (except for Glen Buxton, who died back in 1997), a link between the past and the present is clear. So it can be said that “Detroit Stories” brings a lot of the classic and uncompromised Rock ‘n’ Roll from classics as “Love It to Death” (1971), “School’s Out” (1972) and “Billion Dollar Babies” (1973), but some different elements to bring a fresh and strong actual feeling. So if you’re a die-hard fan, this album will have a crush on you; if you’re not, it’ll have it as well.

Once more, Alice worked with Bob Ezrin (the same producer from the classic albums written above, and on 2011’s “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” and 2017’s “Paranormal”) on studio. But pay attention: even being working for such long time, Bob did a great work, creating a modern and defined sonority, but that allows the songs to flow spontaneously and organic as in the past. And by the way, there are many invited guests playing on the album, but to not overload the review and bore those that aren’t fans of technical aspects, only a few of them will be names: Tommy Henriksen (from Alice’s band), Wayne Kramer (the legendary guitarist of the Punk Rock godfathers MC5, from Detroit), Joe Bonamassa, Mark Farner (former lead vocalist and guitarist of Hard Rock masters of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD), and many others (but if you want to check all of them, just take a look on the booklet). But be prepared by some surprises, due the presence of saxophones, trombones, and trumpets parts.

The album is really great, and an experience that old and young fans of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Metal must share. But for a first time, songs as “Rock & Roll” (a version for THE VELVET UNDERGROUND’s song with the personal touch from Alice’s style, along with very good backing vocals and keyboards), “Go Man Go” (a frantic Rock ‘n’ Roll with a Punk Rock energy and fine guitars), the soft and tender approach on “Our Love Will Change the World” (another cover, this time from Detroit Pop Rock based band OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY), the catchy melodies of the Hard Rock song “Social Debris”, the Bluesy essence of “$1000 High Heel Shoes” (the Groove from Blues, Jazz and North American Gospel can be heard clearly, and what amazing backing vocals), the frantic and nasty Hard Rock song called “Detroit City 2021” (this one is nearer from what Alice did during the second half of the 80’s), “I Hate You” and its aggressive (but catchy) and crude approach, the savage and charming insight if “Sister Anne” (this one belongs to MC5, here on a nasty and thunderous version, full of an energy, and a curious fact: a writer that destroyed BLACK SABBATH used to speak ‘snakes and lizards’ against them as well, but time showed who is who in this matter), the climatic “Hanging on by a Thread (Don’t Give up)”, and “East Side Story” (the fourth cover of the album, a version for BOB SEGER & THE LAST HEARD, and by the way, it’s another musician from Detroit). But as the songs are charming, to hear the album from the beginning to the end isn’t something hard to do.

After hearing the album, all that’s left to say is that ALICE COOPER hit the target once more. And even if “Detroit Stories” can’t be called a classic (only time can tell such thing), it honors his career, and the city of Detroit, where North American Hard Rock was born. Oh, I almost forgot: the deluxe version has a DVD with “A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris”, the same show from the double CD from some years ago (here in Brazil, Shinigami Records released this form).

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Rock & Roll
2. Go Man Go
3. Our Love Will Change the World
4. Social Debris
5. $1000 High Heel Shoes
6. Hail Mary
7. Detroit City 2021
8. Drunk and in Love
9. Independence Dave
10. I Hate You
11. Wonderful World
12. Sister Anne
13. Hanging on by a Thread (Don’t Give up)
14. Shut up and Rock
15. East Side Story
Alice Cooper - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Harp
Record Label: earMUSIC


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