When it comes to my taste in rock music, I’m all about vinyl classics or totally spicy and alternative tracks–nothing in-between and nothing too hard or pretentious. And Alice Cooper certainly never disappoints (at least thus far) when it gets to offering rock fans a mixture of classic 70s and 80s rock with a twist.
His latest album, released back in Feb 2021, “Detroit Stories” is just that. A luminous marriage of classic 70’s rock-n-roll, 80s metal, shock rock and some subtle jazzy, electronics, and blues influences. As it’s obvious by the title, the entire album pays homage to his beloved hometown and for Alice, this is perhaps the best opportunity to switch back to his roots and capture the essence of Detroit City–artistic,dark,mysterious yet approachable at the same time.
In all honesty, if we compare it to his previous “Paranormal” album, it’s not as deep or gritty and its lyrical range leans more towards a more superficial radio-geared tone; but, the overall vibe of the album brings a sense of retro nostalgia and good ol’ rock-and-roll times. That said, if you expect something edgy and contemporary or unique, you’ll most likely be underwhelmed. But, if you love the classic Alice Cooper sound, the one that baby boomers and X gen teens grew up with, this is a definite pleaser.
The album opens with a growly remake of the timeless “ Rock-and-roll ” by Underground which is reminiscent of 70s punk rock bands. The rest of the album follows a more toned-down humourous theme that alternates between slow and goofy grooves to bass-heavy songs that embody the shock-rock factor you’d normally expect from Alice Cooper.
Perhaps the most notable and meaningful song of the album, is (at least for me) the track “Don’t Give Up”, which Alice utilizes to make a clear statement and give us some coping advice to deal with the tumultuous pandemic times that we’re all currently going through.
All in all, if I said that this is the absolutely best album that Alice has released thus far, I would be lying as it lacks a bit of the originality and sharpness that is evident in his last 3 albums. But, it’s certainly worth checking out if you are a die-hard classic rock and jazzy rock fan. If I had to give it an exact rating,I’d give it a fair 7.5/10. Very good and it hits the mark, but nothing out of this world.