New West Records
For an old coot, Alice Cooper can still rock. The latest album from this iron man of rock is about as good as anything he’s done since Billon Dollar Babies or Muscle of Love. This time out, the disc is called Dirty Diamonds, and it’s full of the outrageous, toe tapping sing-along kind of music we old folks remember from high school. Opening the salvo is “Woman of Mass Distraction,” a paean to the sort of girl you’d like to take home, no matter what mom thinks of her. Other standouts include the “Balled of Jesse Jane,” with a cross-dressing trucker getting beat on at Mickey D’s. “Your Own Worst” enemy sounds a bit like a Warren Zevon song, complete with irony and solid riffs, and “Steal That Car” provides the sort of career guidance necessary for those who are having trouble keeping up grades in high school. Alice even squeaks in a cover of “Pretty Ballerina,” a song originally recorded by The Left Banke back in the sixties. Yup, it ain’t a proper heavy metal disc without a power ballad.
This is a crisply sung, tightly arranged set of songs. Mr. Cooper went through some rough years, but he’s back in the saddle, singing and writing and hosting a syndicated radio show. No weak cuts here, just pure CD player pleasure.