Alice Cooper – “Detroit Stories” Album Review

Story posted March 3, 2021 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Emily McGlynn

Legendary rock star Alice Cooper still releases music — and a lot more frequently than some might think.

Many rock artists and rappers from Detroit, Mich. release an album about the city. From Eminem to Bob Seger to Diana Ross, Cooper has finally hopped on the bandwagon.

This is Cooper’s 21st solo album, which consists of 15 tracks for 50 minutes in total.

Cooper’s been making music since 1964. His music was at the top of the charts in the 80s, though it has died down since then. However, Cooper hasn’t been influenced by the modern pop scene — he has stuck to his original hard rock sound.

“Detroit Stories” is an upbeat rock album that makes anyone want to get up and rock out. The songs don’t flow into each other, but that’s typical for rock albums. However, the songs complement each other nicely.

This album is very nostalgic with just about every song filled with guitar-driven riffs, intense drums, a killer Hammond organ and sassy harmonicas.

However, “Detroit Stories” was drawn-out too much and some songs aren’t fresh. Cooper is following a formula. If someone were to relisten to his older stuff, they could probably find a similar song on this record.

Too often, though, the musical aspect is perfunctory. Nonetheless, the album is more theatrical and radio-geared than his other records.

Let’s get into the lyrics. No doubt, Cooper loves Detroit. This is a tribute to the rich, wild history of the city.

Sometimes artists glorify a city and make it seem like more than it really is. While he does get into the fun, some tracks mention the issues that have happened over the years. In the end, Cooper is hopeful the city will bounce back and Detroit will keep its crazy energy. 

The song “Shut up and Rock” and “Hanging on by a Thread (Don’t Give up)” in theory would be great songs, but not exactly. The lyrics are overly cliché and could have easily been cut from the album.

It’s surprising that Cooper could write these kinds of songs, considering how well-written his songs used to be. He sticks to his sarcastic nature and writes about beloved Detroit, toxic masculinity and his confidence, though.

Cooper is known for his raspy yet aggressive voice. Obviously, his voice has weakened over the years but for some reason, his voice still works in this genre. There are points where it sounds like he has run out of breath support, but that’s what re-recording is for.

Any music nerd would pick up that Cooper took inspiration from other rock artists like MC5, Ted Nugent, and The Stooges for this record — the combination is quite an interesting take. He covered “Sister Anne” by MC5. It’s clear that these dots can be connected.

When audiences see Cooper in a couple of years with a new album, he should try to make something people haven’t heard before. However, it still doesn’t matter that it has been decades since this kind of music has been made — Cooper is a cherished artist.

Rating: 7/10
Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Rock & Roll” and “Social Debris”
Least Favorite Song: “Go Man Go” and “Hanging on by a Thread (Don’t Give Up)”

Emily McGlynn is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email