ALICE COOPER – Detroit Stories
It seems that the legendary Alice Cooper is incapable of releasing mediocre or mundane albums and this latest LP of his, which is partly a heartfelt love letter to the sounds and vibes of 60s and 70s rock from the Motor City aka Detroit, is a warm and superb record that offers surprises and hooks in equal measure.
With a suitably raw edge and a vibrant feel to it, "Detroit Stories" is loaded with songs that are as varied and compelling as anything in the Alice Cooper catalogue. The great man himself is in phenomenal shape here and there is a prominent sense of enthusiasm and joy coursing through this high-octane affair; one is certainly left with the impression that Cooper and his skilled ensemble are having a blast playing and recording these hugely engaging compositions. You want gritty riffs, sing-along choruses, and lyrics that are laced with humor, sarcasm, social commentary, and wit? This album has it all and its highlights include the anthemic "Go Man Go", the uplifting "Hanging on by a Thread (Don’t Give Up)", the cool and funky "1000$ High Heel Shoes", and the incredibly entertaining and sharp "Independence Dave". The cover renditions are good too with Velvet Underground’s "Rock & Roll" and Bob Seger’s "East Side Story" being the most notable ones.
The 2-disc edition that showed up in my mailbox includes a DVD containing the powerful "A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris" live document, which was issued on CD and LP a couple of years ago. Meaty classics and juicy cuts in an atmospheric setting – how could anyone not love that? Totally worth watching and the sound is fat and crunchy.
"Detroit Stories", which is expertly produced by Bob Ezrin, is an indispensable release where pulsating rockers, mellow tracks that will seduce the ears, and everything in between those things walk hand in hand and complement each other beautifully. It is loose and wild at times and therefore the perfect celebration of 60s and 70s Detroit rock. In many ways, it is quintessentially Alice Cooper, yet it is also different to pretty much any other release in his discography – save for perhaps "The Eyes of Alice Cooper" (2003). A mandatory buy and essential hard rock performed by a pioneer who is as inspired and inspiring as ever.