See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dead flowers

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Writing about heroin is always tricky. The very fact you have something to say risks shrouding substance abuse in glamour and illusion. So anyone who emerges from the ashes of addiction and decides to tell his story is shouldered with a great responsibility: Will it be seen as a cautionary tale, or instead serve as a dark invitation? To Nikki Sixx's credit, he has created an intense album that comes gut-wrenchingly close to the true ugliness of addiction, ripping aside the veil to reveal gory close-ups of needles, paranoia and perverse love — not with a woman, but a substance that kills.

The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack is a companion to Sixx's memoir, due out in September, but the music and the book each stands on its own. The memoir contains Sixx's diary entries from 1987, the year that culminated in his near-fatal OD. You'll find the occasional excerpt from the book, spoken by Sixx himself, throughout his musical endeavor. But the main attraction here are the 13 songs, which work together as a whole, 51-minute piece — in itself a refreshing change from the singles-driven era in which we live. By turns theatrical, manic, heavy and even hooky, tunes such as "Life Is Beautiful" and "Pray for Me" are heavy rock with both balls and gloss, while the balladry of "Accidents Can Happen" and "Girl with Golden Eyes" examine open wounds instead of romance. Sixx's bandmates — vocalist James Michael and guitarist DJ Ashba — add their own depth to the songs.

Powerful as it is, The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack probably won't stop many from experimenting with drugs. When someone is filled with enough curiosity and pain to reach for a needle, a song is not going to stop them. But it may give pause to those who have emerged from a habit and find themselves teetering on the edge once again. It's a chilling reminder of what waits at the bottom of the cliff.

Janiss Garza writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Janiss Garza

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit