ALICE COOPER "Dirty Diamonds" New West

Friday, August 19, 2005

ALICE COOPER"Dirty Diamonds"New West

Alice Cooper's latest album, "Dirty Diamonds," is shocking. Not because of the sneering misogyny of such songs as "Woman of Mass Distraction" and "Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)." Not because of the casual homophobia of "The Saga of Jesse Jane." Not because of the sympathetic songs about car thieves and the living dead. Not because of the distorted heavy-metal music. No, what's shocking about "Dirty Diamonds" is how halfhearted the whole project is.

It's as if Cooper couldn't be bothered to sing full-voice or on pitch. It's as if his band couldn't summon the energy to push the tempos past third gear. It's as if neither the singer nor his producers (Steve Lindsey and Rick Boston) cared enough to disguise their multiple rip-offs of Rolling Stones riffs. It's as if Cooper believed he could coast on his legend as an outrageous fantasy figure and didn't need to produce any actual outrage or fantasy.

-- Geoffrey Himes

Appearing Thursday at Wolf Trap.

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