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Iggy Pop

Post Pop Depression

Loma Vista

Mar 28, 2016 Iggy Pop Bookmark and Share

Iggy Pop‘s craggy visage and road-worn physique is “central to an understanding of rock music and its place within American culture,” artist Jeremy Deller recently said, explaining Pop’s turn as a nude model for an upcoming exhibit. “His body has witnessed much and should be documented.” While there is some implication there that Iggy Pop, at 68 years old, is more interesting as a museum piece than as a living, breathing artist, Post Pop Depression‘s best moments argue in favor of his continued relevance.

This is most true when Pop is effortlessly being Pop, making the listener slightly uncomfortable as he ogles a “black goddess in a shabby raincoat/Where are you, tonight?” on “Gardenia,” the spiritual successor to Lust for Life‘s “Turn Blue.” “Gardenia’s” mechanical groove and lecherous spirit provide the most convincing evidence that the new record is an unofficial follow-up to his collaborations with David Bowie on The Idiot and Lust for Life. Now, the collaborative force is Josh Homme, who brings his considerable guitar chops and production efforts, along with fellow Queens of the Stone Age bandmate Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders.

The outfit churns out discreetly menacing hard-rock grooves that occasionally strut into dance-punk territory. In that way, the rhythms reflect The Idiot more closely than Lust for Life‘s more traditional rock ‘n’ roll, if the former’s synthesizers were replaced by Homme’s distinct guitar. There’s nothing as visceral and raw as Lust for Life‘s “Sixteen,” or as purely catchy as “Tonight,” and one gets the sense that Pop’s self-regard as a poet could be his fatal flaw. Pained metaphors about the title creatures in “Vultures” land squarely on the nose. The otherwise-excellent “Sunday” is nearly derailed with its belabored opening lines: “This house is as slick as a senator statement/This job is a masquerade of recreation/Like a wreck, I’m sinking fast.” So, while he has the sense to work through these ideas with the energy of a younger band, this is not Iggy Pop unleashing his unadulterated id. Post Pop Depression is very much a man trying to find the proper context for himself, his considerable legacy, and where his shape fits in the modern world, and perhaps sounding a little lost in the process. (www.iggypop.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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