The man, the legend, the makeup. Alice Cooper really needs no introduction. I mean, damn… the guy has been pushing his grotesquely theatrical goth rock antics since the late 60s.
Now 74 years young, Ol’ black eyes is back and swinging his cane in celebration of his 28th studio album ‘Detroit Stories’.
Following the trend started by his supergroup band The Hollywood Vampires, Alice brings us yet another album stuffed with reworked cover songs. In the usual gimmicky Alice fashion, the theme of Detroit Stories relies on being a heartfelt homage to his home city of… (you guessed it)… Detroit.
The honorable Detroit premise is definitely interesting enough to warrant the album’s conception and the project definitely stays true to what it set out to do. However, like many of Alice’s recent albums, the leather-laden rock grit and heavy riffs lack sufficient diversity and ultimately create a blur of undistinguished noise pollution. Although I must admit that it is amusing to hear Alice’s whip-cracking attempt to capture the sounds of other musical legends, the entire album seems like just another aged rockstar’s passion project.
Regrettably, the relentless lack of musical range is shameful when compared to classic albums such as ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ which boasted multiple genres, styles, and shades of creativity. Even forgotten Alice albums such as the 1983 New Wave cocaine-fuelled ‘Dada’ drew more inspiration and variety. Taken as a whole, Alice has made a safe space within the heavy metal genre and this doesn’t offer the listener any sense of mystery, what-ifs, or maybes. Instead, you’ll likely forecast each song and end up eating a hunk of drywall just to escape the bland taste of Alice’s predicable heavy metal. Standout tracks such as ‘Wonderful World’ break the formula slightly and instead introduce a more laidback jazzy sound, however it just can’t redeem the lack of diversity
Unfortunately, Detroit Stories is shockingly tiresome, tremendously deficient and absurdly ho-hum; a far cry from the outrageously twisted and creatively depraved baby-killing, necrophilia-singing fashion which Alice solidified during the 1970s and 80s. Even though these criticisms are harsh, I say them with love (eeek, I know). I will always standby Alice; not only a unique songwriter and poet but as a truly marvelous performer and visual stage artist. Any Alice fan will confidently assure you that he is “one of a kind” and whether you love him or hate him, we can all agree on one thing.. Alice is and will always be consistently Alice… in one way or another.