Bluesy, Concept-album, Dissonant, Low vocals, Melancholic, Psychedelic, Punk
"Alice Cooper revisits his own mythology through his hometown. Despite some length, the album is a nice tribute to the Coop's sound."
ADRIANSTORK (11.03.2021)  
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2020 could have been a fatal year for Vincent Furnier. Having been contaminated by the insidious Covid19, the king of the "shock" rock could very well have gone down definitively to Hell. Now recovered, the 73 years old singer has decided to go back to his roots in the Detroit where he was born. Alice Cooper has gathered around him a dream crew with prestigious guests such as guitarists Wayne Kramer (MC5), Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Henricksen (Warlock, Hollywood Vampires) and many others. We also find the old gang with guitarists Michael Bruce and Steve Hunter, bassist Dennis Dunaway, drummer Neal Smith (Glen Buxton unfortunately died in 1997). None other than Bob Ezrin, the great architect of the Alice Cooper sound, could be at the helm of this "Detroit Stories".

"Detroit Stories" dedicated to the Motor City starts on a high note. This pace is justified by the theme of the first song 'Rock And Roll', a cover of the Velvet Underground which relates the discovery of rock music on the radio by a young girl and the irreversible shock caused. Listening to this track proves to be enjoyable thanks to the airy organ played by Bob Ezrin, two laid-back guitar solos by Steve Hunter and Joe Bonamassa and finally the energy that comes from it. 'Go Man Go', the next track, shifts into sixth gear with a frenzied rhythmic pattern that has the specter of MC5 hovering over it thanks to the presence of Wayne Kramer who graces us with an energetic solo. 'Independence Dave' takes the same vocal flow as 'Aspirin Damages' before letting the menace express itself with big choirs and harmonica. The fire rubs shoulders with a hint of ice, 'Wonderful World' with its deep voice and its provocative text or 'Hanging On By A Thread (Don't Give Up') with its gothic keyboards make the madness and the horror rise in a more subtle way.

Because there is the main pitfall of this album, the automatic pilot is sometimes engaged and the arrival of a guitar solo can almost be predicted at the second ('Hail Mary', 'Sister Anne' MC5 cover, 'Shut Up And Rock'). However, if Alice Cooper sometimes takes from his own discography, his borrowings are only winks and do not indicate a loss of inspiration. A handful of calmer tracks slightly compensate for some energetic excesses. 'Our Love Will Change The World' has certainly some spectorian or even Motown (founded in Detroit!) accents but fits well in the Coop's canvas as 'Department Of Youth', offering a contrasting message of hope. The funky '1000 Dollars High Heel Shoes' with its sweet female backing vocals, horns, a little wah-wah solo proves to be jubilant.

Each track is a vignette with Detroit as a back. Alice Cooper hasn't mellowed out, but the goal is no longer to shock. He knows how to be sensitive and deeply human. The lyrics of the torrid blues 'Drunk And In Love' could remind us of the failed flirt of 'I Like Girls' but the singer adds a desperate dimension. 'Detroit City 2021' evokes the golden age of Detroit with a lot of name pinging (Iggy Pop, Suzy Quatro, MC5 are mentioned) before plunging into ruin. 'Social Debris' lets speak a paranoid who spreads some truths. At the end of 'Hanging On By A Thread (Don't Give Up)', which deals with unhappiness, the singer addresses the listener in person, giving the number of SOS Suicide in Detroit to call before taking the plunge. Let's also note 'I Hate You', a self-criticism as delirious as enjoyable where all the musicians denounce this filthy guy with "his spider webs and his guillotine".

Alice Cooper pays tribute to his hometown as much as to his discography. With its playful spirit and its detonating guitars, the new album "Detroit Stories" invites the neophyte or not listener to new journeys in the world of the singer. Of course, we can reproach the album for being a little too long and lacking sound variety but let's not sulk our pleasure, the Coop is well and truly back among the living.

More informations on

01. Rock 'n' Roll
02. Go Man Go
03. Our Love Will Change The World
04. Social Debris
05. $1000 High Heel Shoes
06. Hail Mary
07. Detroit City 2021
08. Drunk And In Love
09. Independence Dave
10. I Hate You
11. Wonderful World
12. Sister Anne
13. Hanging On By A Thread
14. Shut Up And Rock
15. East Side Story

Alice Cooper : Chant / Harpe
Tommy Denander: Guitares / Claviers / Invité
Bob Ezrin: Claviers / Invité / Percussions, Piano, Orgue
Dennis Dunaway: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Invité
Garret Bielaniec: Guitares / Invité
James Shelton: Invité / Orgue
Jimmy Lee Sloas: Basse / Invité
Joe Bonamassa: Guitares / Invité
John Rutherford: Invité / Trombone
Johnny "bee" Bedanjek: Batterie / Invité
Keith Kaminski: Invité / Saxophone
Larry Mullen Jr.: Batterie / Invité
Mark Farner: Guitares / Invité
Matthew Smith: Guitares / Invité
Michael Bruce: Chant / Guitares / Invité
Neal Smith : Chant / Batterie / Invité
Paul Randolph: Basse / Invité
Rick Tedesco: Guitares / Invité
Steve Hunter: Guitares / Invité
Steven Crayn: Guitares / Invité
Tommy Henriksen: Guitares / Invité
Walter White: Invité / Trompette
Wayne Kramer: Guitares / Invité / Choeurs
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