Reviewed by Chris Hammond
Deluxe Cd Review
Alice Cooper – Detroit Stories (2021)
Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
|1.||“Rock & Roll” (The Velvet Underground cover)||Lou Reed||4:43|
|2.||“Go Man Go”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Wayne Kramer||2:40|
|3.||“Our Love Will Change the World”||Matthew Smith||3:39|
|4.||“Social Debris”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Neal Smith||3:05|
|5.||“$1000 High Heel Shoes”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Wayne Kramer||3:29|
|6.||“Hail Mary”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen||3:15|
|7.||“Detroit City 2021”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garric||3:20|
|8.||“Drunk and in Love”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Dennis Dunaway||3:52|
|9.||“Independence Dave”||Alice Cooper, Bob Erin, Wayne Kramer||2:57|
|10.||“I Hate You”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Dennis Dunaway||2:34|
|11.||“Wonderful World”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Tommy Denander||3:20|
|12.||“Sister Anne” (MC5 cover)||Fred “Sonic” Smith||4:47|
|13.||“Hanging On by a Thread (Don’t Give Up)”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen||3:36|
|14.||“Shut Up and Rock”||Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Tommy Denander||2:09|
|15.||“East Side Story” (Bob Seger & The Last Heard cover)||Bob Seger||2:52|
Alice Cooper always the innovator returns with 2021’s album “Detroit Stories”. The album title pays homage to the city that launched the Alice Cooper band onto the path of success and excess.
The album revisits one of the toughest music scenes of the ’70s with modern-day covers of The Velvet Underground, MC5and Bob Seger.
Detroit Stories revisits a scene where the guitar-heavy hard rock sound is embraced by outcasts which included Cooper at the time.
“Los Angeles had its sound with The Doors, Love and Buffalo Springfield,” says Alice Cooper, “San Francisco had the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. New York had The Rascals and The Velvet Underground. But Detroit was the birthplace of angry hard rock. After not fitting in anywhere in the US (musically or image wise) Detroit was the only place that recognized the Alice Cooper guitar driven, hard rock sound and our crazy stage show. Detroit was a haven for the outcasts. And when they found out I was born in East Detroit… we were home.”
50 years later Alice Cooper and producer Bob Ezrin assemble a group of legendary Detroit musicians to record in a Detroit studio to celebrate that era for a new generation.
First, let’s talk about the covers on the album. They aren’t the Cooper sound everyone recognizes, but that isn’t a bad thing at all. The Cover of The Velvet Undergrounds’ “Rock & Roll” feels dated, but Cooper’s vocals help to give it new life. Mc5’s “Sister Anne” is a fun rock song, one which most people don’t think of when they think of MC5. Cooper’s vocals are complemented by an onslaught of guitar and harmonica playing. It’s not heavy, it is just straight-ahead rock and roll.
Probably the strongest cover on the lot is Bob Seger & The last heard cover “East Side Story”. The song is a story the music is the chorus. Although the song musically possesses a heavy psychedelic feel it still manages to be a great vocal/storytelling classic and Cooper shines when telling stories.
Now the album is a mixture of cover songs with Alice Cooper songs sprinkled in. These songs are a musical mixture bag of punky rock like “Go Man Go” and poppish uplifting songs like “Our Love Will Change The World”
To be honest though, when Cooper does what he does best, the album is at its strongest. The strongest songs that incorporate these elements include “Social Debris’, “Hail Mary”, “Shut Up & Rock” and “Detriot City 2021”.
Alice Cooper’s Detroit Stories is full of different musical styles, something that hardcore fans may not embrace fully, but something they may appreciate. There is enough “Cooper’ driven material but as concept albums go they can be hit or miss. There’s an unevenness to the style which is to be expected but overall, the music and Cooper are enough to get a recommendation.
The deluxe version of the physical album includes The DVD or Blu-ray live performance of “A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris”. This gives the album even more value and of course more Alice for your buck.
Rating 3.5 out of 5