Detroit Stories Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest full-length solo release for the shock rocker features a few songs from his 2019 EP Breadcrumbs, new covers and songs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Mar 8, 2021
    80
    While the music has a timeless sense to it—rock is rock is rock, after all—it is hard not to be impressed by the verve and power Cooper has maintained and offers again with his gritty voice.
  2. Feb 26, 2021
    80
    With this fun and obnoxiously reverent album, they should get the inmates rioting.
  3. 80
    Detroit Stories is his most concise bolt of precision-tooled heavy rock in 50 years, enhanced by Ezrin’s robust production and Alice on lethal form, vocally and lyric-wise.
  4. 70
    Not everything clicks, though. The spoken word verses and clichéd lyrics of “Don’t Give Up” and the simplistic “Shut Up and Rock” could have been chopped from an album that’s already pretty long. But there is enough of Cooper’s trademarked sleaze and rowdy clenched-fist riffing in “Hail Mary,” a cover of the MC5’s propulsive “Sister Ann,” and the swampy “Wonderful World” to satisfy fans of Cooper’s early work.
  5. 70
    Detroit Stories is fully formed and tells its story without trying too hard… or too little. The band cranks on the engine and lets Jesus… err… the Ashetons, Fred Sonic Smith, and Glen Buxton… take the wheel and they drive this record on home.
  6. Feb 26, 2021
    70
    Largely, Cooper and longtime producer Bob Ezrin know what they can get away with on an Alice Cooper record, and when they hit their stride, it’s a lot of fun. Figuring out how to do that seems like an artform unto itself.
  7. Feb 24, 2021
    50
    Detroit Stories is stuck in a confusing limbo somewhere between tribute to Detroit and another album of the kind of campy, theatrical, radio-geared hard rock Cooper has been turning in since Hey Stoopid. Never quite committing to either concept, Detroit Stories ends up feeling like a handful of solid covers of classic Detroit tunes with some Alice Cooper extras thrown in at random.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 1, 2021
    8
    Alice Cooper's latest effort with longtime producer Bob Ezrin and the surviving members of the 1970s Alice Cooper band delivers both classicAlice Cooper's latest effort with longtime producer Bob Ezrin and the surviving members of the 1970s Alice Cooper band delivers both classic tunes and refreshing sounds to the modern music industry. The album has something to offer for different types of listeners, from the Beatles-esqe "Our Love Will Change the World" and the motown-inspired funky "$1000 High Heel Shoes" to the grungy motivational speech "Hanging on by a Thread (Don't Give Up)" and the vintage Cooper’s hard rock “Social Debris“. Besides, Cooper shares fantastic covers of The Velvet Underground's "Rock 'n' Roll”, MC5's "Sister Anne", and Bob Seger’s “East Side Story”, flawlessly adapting them to his own distinctive quirkiness. The expansive range of musical styles and influences of this record demonstrates Cooper's love for music throughout the decades.

    Cooper's vocal sounds as crisp and powerful as his primetime, solidifying himself as an immortal legend of the rock culture. It is cliche to say, but Cooper rocks in his 70 during the 20s as much as he did in his 20 in the 70s. This record is a testament to his timeless songwriting capability and vocal quality, alongside the musical prowess of his band. There are multiple headbanger-worthy guitar riffs, killer solos, dynamic drumming, solid basslines, catchy tambourine hooks, and even some motown horn sections. Also, Cooper's experiences over the years help him write profound and introspective lyrics about social alienation ("Social Debris"), skepticism ("Our Love Will Change the World"), romance ("Drunk and In Love"), mental illness ("Hanging On by a Thread"), and of course his hometown ("Detroit City 2021"), among several topics. The dark themes of "Detroit Stories" seem appropriate during a time of social and political turbulence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Praises asides, I believe the album is weakened by several tracks I consider "filler", like "Wonderful World", "Shut Up and Rock" and "I Hate You". These songs appear dull and uninspiring with generic lyrics and melodies. The album has enough content to make these fillers seem unnecessary and distracting. But overall, Alice Cooper has returned with a bang and "Detroit Stories" has been an enjoyable ride. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone, whether you are a longtime Alice Cooper fan, a classic rock listener, or not.

    Highlights: Rock 'n' Roll, Our Love Will Change the World, Social Debris, $1000 High Heel Shoes, Sister Anne
    Rating: 7.8/10
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