50 Years since the iconic Love It to Death Alice Cooper has decided to return to the town that started it all. Inspired by the sounds of the motor city, Detroit Stories is Alice’s 21st solo album and continues the return to his signature sound that Paranormal heralded. So expect energetic rock n roll with plenty of humour, a few covers and some curveballs for good measure. Oh, and of course it is produced by Bob Ezrin – Vincent’s very own George Martin.
Also like Paranormal, Detroit Stories is chock-full of Mr Cooper’s famous musician friends notably Joe Bonamassa and Steve Hunter on The Velvet Underground cover ‘Rock n Roll’ – a full bloodied reworking of a Lou Reed classic that works very well. As does their take on Bob Seger’s ‘East Side Story’ – short, sharp, with a probing drumbeat and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad fame on guitar. Wayne Kramer lends a hand on a faithfull cover of his old band MC5’s song ‘Sister Anne’, as well as the delightful ‘Our Love Will Change the World’ (Outrageous Cherry) – a cheery slice of Beatles like pop with a dark and sinister underbelly.
The ‘70s style hard rock is abundant. ‘Go Man Go’ is a rambunctious tale of two loved up jailbirds with all the speed and excitement of a police chase. Whilst no nonsense rocker ‘Shut Up and Rock’ implores celebrity musicians to stop bleeting and get on with their jobs. Single ‘Social Debris’ is a snappy look at the original bands outsider status, aptly recorded alongside surviving members Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Michael Bruce.
Alice’s witty way with words is alive and well, as illustrated by ‘Independence Dave’ – a damn catchy track about an unambitious cynic only looking out for number one. The punky ‘I Hate You’ is another example, which sees the original band taking the mickey out of each other, not even the late Glen Buxton escapes. The curveball is the swinging ‘$1000 High Heel Shoes’, a sprightly foot tapper inspired by Detroit’s illustrious motown history that recalls lesser known Cooper tracks like ‘Some Folks’ and ‘Crazy Little Child’.
Inspired by Alice’s hometown, Detroit Stories is a fantastic record that harkens back to his trademark sound – namely catchy rock and roll full of wit and a love of all things macabre.