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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Album Review: Alice Cooper – Detroit Stories

Rhythm, rock and the beauty in exploring one’s roots

Rock god Alice Cooper has returned with his 21st solo album, an absolute masterpiece titled Detroit Stories. Cooper pays homage to his roots and hometown with an album full of songs that admire and expand upon Detroit’s 1960s rock’n’roll spirit. Cooper’s 50 years of experience shine through on this project, and he manages to once again prove his unparalleled talent in lyricism, showmanship and overall musical ability. The 15-track album features a series of covers and original songs that are quite entertaining in none other than the great Alice Cooper’s style.

The album kicks off with a soulful cover of Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll,” in which Cooper notably switches out “New York station” for “Detroit station.” Cooper enhances the song by incorporating heavier drums and incredible electric guitar riffs that move the listener to its groovy rhythm.

Detroit Stories continues with a fast-paced and heavy rocking beat on “Go Man Go.” The track features the guitar riff and lyrical patterns from The Replacements’ “I Don’t Know.” Cooper quickly switches modes into a different part of his musical range with “Our Love Will Change the World,” a cover from Detroit pop band, Outrageous Cherry. Cooper produces a near exact copy of the original song, yet the singer’s raspy voice adds a darker tone to the peppy original song.

The album includes personal touches and wry humor on songs like “I Hate You” and “Drunk and in Love.” “I Hate You” features surviving members of the original Alice Cooper Band lamenting the absence of Glen Buxton who passed away 24 years ago: “we’re filled with rage at the empty space you left on stage,” they sing solemnly. Cooper incorporates his humor on “Drunk and in Love,” where the opening lyrics read, “I saw you babe and I pissed my pants.” Clearly, Cooper has a way with words.

The listener is taken 0n a journey through Cooper’s roots on “Detroit City 2021,” where his glorious and soaring guitar solos are guaranteed to captivate the listener. Cooper attempts to summarize Detroit’s rock history in a single song, focusing on the streets in the 1960s during the rise of punk rock (inspired by Motown’s soul music). He mentions a wide range of Detroit art royalty such as Bob Seger, Suzy Quatro and Eminem, and recalls his early days with Iggy Pop (“giggin’ with Ziggy”) and the MC5.

Cooper gets into more overtly serious content on the song “Don’t Give Up,” in which Cooper illustrates the struggle of depression and adds a message of comfort, as well as the suicide hotline number. Cooper speaks directly to the listener, as though directly convincing them to “keep fighting, don’t give up.”

Detroit Stories showcases Cooper’s Detroit roots and vocal range. The guitar-driven album features captivating solos and many well-known Detroit influences. Cooper, recognized far and wide for his signature eyeliner look, has gifted the world with a wide range of enjoyable Detroit Stories for everyone.

(Originally published in MXDWN.)

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