Alice Cooper - Dirty Diamonds
Spitfire Records
Hard Rock
13 songs (47'16)
Release year: 2005
Alice Cooper, Spitfire Records
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
Fans of Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet and Dragontown albums who liked the modern, darker and more serious direction that he was taking with those albums must have found themselves feeling left out by 2003's The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. With that album, instead of continuing on the same path, he went back to the basics and offered a very stripped down album that sounded more like material he did in the early 70' on albums like Love it To Death, Killer and School's Out and bore very little resemblance to Brutal Planet and Dragontown. The premise was to get back to a garage band type of sound with no overdubs and an overall live-from-the-floor type of production; something Alice hadn't done in several decades. Long-time fans who have been patiently waiting for him to do another album like this were finally satisfied. With the follow-up album, Dirty Diamonds just recently released, it seems that the back-to-the-roots type of approach to writing and recording an album was not a one shot deal and is in fact the formula that he is going to stick with for a while. Steve Lindsey and Rick Boston handle the production duties and this time around, Alice allowed the band members to use overdubs. The production, although a bit slicker than his last album, still has the live feel to it along with a rough and ready sound. The whole album was written and recorded in just under two weeks time and Alice introduces two new band members in Damon Johnson (Brother Cane), who joins Ryan Roxie as the band's guitarists and Tommy Clufetos who takes over the drummers seat.

Although the music of Alice's last couple of albums shows more of a 70's vibe, he certainly shows that he's keeping his eyes and ears open to the state of affairs in the world today. The opening track, Woman Of Mass Distraction (an obvious play on the weapons of mass destruction phrase we have all gotten so sick of hearing) is a solid riff-driven rocker with Alice's tongue-in-cheek lyrical approach. The chorus is very catchy and Alice is the only artist that I've ever seen use the word "castrate" as a rhyme for the word "date"....ouch!! Perfect takes us back to the bluesy old Alice Cooper feel of the early 70's and lyrically tells the story of someone who although is talented (and obviously boasts about it), keeps falling apart when performing in front of people. Other albums highlights include the fast, punk influenced title track Dirty Diamonds complete with a James Bond film score vibe to it and sounding like it could've been pulled from the Love It To Death sessions. The Saga Of Jesse Jane sees Alice at his storytelling best in this slow bluesy western flavored track about a cross-dressing truck driver who gets thrown in jail in a small town in Texas. Sung in the first person, this is classic Alice!! Sunset Babies(All Got Rabies) steals a little from the main riff to the Stones' Happy and is a very up tempo rocker that pokes fun at the newest Hollywood divas like Paris Hilton but without mentioning any names. By the clever phrasing and lyrical style, we all know who's he's really talking about!! Steal That Car features a fast punk-like feel and a great chorus in telling the saga of a car thief. Another track worth mentioning is Alice's cover of the 60's group The Lefte Banke's Pretty Ballerina. Quiet and laid back, it's mainly an acoustic flavored track with some flute and keyboard orchestrations and fits in very well with Alice's classic early 70's material particularly the quieter sections of tracks like Desperado from the Killer album and may have been an influence later on with the classic Only Women Bleed from Welcome To My Nightmare.

There's lots of variety on this album and the production a little cleaner than The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. With Dirty Diamonds, there's lots of really great songs with each one having its own unique identity and story to tell. I really like the album but there's a couple tracks that are definitely sub par as far as the normal Alice Cooper quality of song writing and this album is “marred” by the inclusion of the bonus track Stand. With it’s funky hip-hop feel, Alice does a duet with rapper Xzibit. It’s a bonus track…..we can forgive him….this time!!! Rest assured, these are the few exceptions as there's lots of great catchy and witty Alice Cooper throughout this entire album. It's all about the wit and attitude with Alice Cooper as he's at his best when his material has both. For a man pushing 60, he still has the same approach to song writing as he did back when he was in his 20's. The master of the macabre has once again delivered a fresh new album albeit with a retro 70's style sound and will certainly please the fans of his early 70's material. It also goes to show that unlike many of his counterparts from the same era, he's not just a classic rock act nowadays and is still capable of putting out quality new material.

Killing Songs :
Woman Of Mass Distraction, Perfect, Dirty Diamonds, The Saga Of Jesse Jane, Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies) and Steal That Car
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Alice Cooper that we have reviewed:
Alice Cooper - Along Came A Spider reviewed by Marty and quoted 83 / 100
Alice Cooper - Live At Montreux 2005 (DVD/CD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Alice Cooper - The Eyes Of Alice Cooper reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Alice Cooper - DragonTown reviewed by Danny and quoted 40 / 100
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid reviewed by Chris and quoted 97 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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