Leave it to Iggy to just cut through all the shit and release a new album that is, at once, muscular and delicate, crass and sophisticated, buoyant and sardonic, in your face like a giant bear and cunning as a panther.
Iggy Pop’s new album, Post Pop Depression (Loma Vista) comes out on March 18. It’s an amazing collaboration with Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age). Homme co-write and produced the album, and he contributes guitar, bass, piano and backing vocals. They’re joined by guitarist Dean Fertita (QotSA, The Dead Weather) and drummer Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys). Not too shabby a lineup, and the result is suitably ferocious.
But suffice it to say (and no disrespect at all intended to these fine musicians, who are really spectacular on this album), if he had Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Aphrodite supporting him, it would still be an Iggy Pop album. Such is his immense personality and formidable paw print, you understand.
Besides the fact that the man positively slays it and puts every other “dangerous punk rocker” to shame at age 68, the album is deliciously, wickedly diverse, surprising at every turn. It’s frightfully literate and introspective, shiver-enducing and musically bold, with elements of hard rock, gothic-chamber, experimental, spoken word, blues, punk — and maybe even carnival music and dark cabaret. Holy fecking crap. It has all the wistfulness and whimsy, thumb-nosing and gravitas that comes from such an important artist looking back at such a long, wild ride.
It’s impossible to choose highlights from such a masterwork. Let’s just say “most jaw-dropping moments” — the oddly Asian old warrior reflections of “American Valhalla”; the layered guitars to vaguely African percussion to prog rock to breathy angels to classical dark circus music of “Sunday”; the harrowing spoken word and wailing lament of “Vulture”; the visceral chant followed by the angst, longing and massive modern world purge of “Paraguay.” Truth is, the entire album feels like a full-on purging of all the crap of our world and a desperate search for what is real and true. Bless you, Iggy.
As for the title itself, word has it that Iggy may be retiring, which, if true, is no doubt the reason for the critical look back and blunt appraisal of today’s reality. Let’s hope that ‘Post Pop Depression’ is mostly tongue in cheek and is just Iggy being clever and messing with our heads, which he’s so damned brilliant at doing.
“There is nothing in the stars, if you fail to move
there is nothing in the dark, it’s just some old excuse.
hanging on, let it go!”
– Chocolate Drops
They’ll be touring around the U.S. and in Europe starting on March 28 in Seattle, with a stop at Boston’s Orpheum Theater on April 11. In the meantime, pick up this amazing album immediately.