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Cooper, Alice: Dirty Diamonds

New West Records, whose stable of artists includes Delbert McClinton, Drive-By Truckers and Dwight Yoakam, is the unlikely new home to shock-rocker Alice Cooper. And the most shocking thing about Dirty Diamonds, something like Cooper's 30th album, isn't that it was written and recorded in 13 days. Or that it's a loud and loose, lean and mean, garage-rock machine. Rather, what's most surprising about Dirty Diamonds is that it's a fun, rockin' and relevant album that elaborates on the spirit of 2003's equally surprising release, The Eyes of Alice Cooper.

Whether he's belting out the gang-chorus "woo-hoo-hoos" on "You Make Me Wanna," pounding his fist to the gung-ho Stones-y sing-along "Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies") or wrapping lines like "Can't you hear 'em comin'/You're going to die" around horn licks that sound lifted from the soundtrack to an action-comics film, Cooper proves he can still rock at the age of 57. Then there are the more unlikely tracks, including the pretty ballad "Pretty Ballerina" (a cover of the mid-Sixties song by New York City's so-called Baroque 'n' roll band The Left Banke ) and "The Saga of Jesse Jane," which finds the man who wears makeup singing a country-western ditty a la an exaggerated Johnny Cash about a cross-dressing truck driver jailed in a Texas town for wearing his sister's wedding gown. The song is just one of many on Dirty Diamonds that shows Cooper hasn't lost his knack for throwing lyrical curveballs. Not much gore, but still plenty of whore.

Just as releasing Dirty Diamonds on New West Records seems like an oddball move, including "Stand" - a duet with rapper Xzibit lifted from Unity: The Official Athens 2004 Olympic Games Album - on Dirty Diamonds seems just as out of place. And it detracts from the record's overall vibe so much that I'm docking the disc a half-star.

Track Listing:
1) Woman of Mass Destruction
2) Perfect
3) You Make Me Wanna
4) Dirty Diamonds
5) The Saga of Jesse Jane
6) Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)
7) Pretty Ballerina
8) Run Down the Devil
9) Steal That Car
10) Six Hours
11) Your Own Worst Enemy
12) Zombie Dance
13) Stand (featuring Xzibit) (Bonus Track)

Added: September 21st 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Alice Cooper Web Site
Hits: 2343
Language: english

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