Artist: Iggy Pop
Album: Post Pop Depression
Label: Loma Vista
Release Date: 03/18/2016
Is this the end for Iggy Pop?
Despite his reputation as a rock ‘n’ roll wild-man, the famed Stooges’ singer is settling comfortably into the role of music elder statesman. And on what has been declared to possibly be his last album, Pop appears ready to go out in style.
Recorded in secret with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, who also helped self-fund the record along with Pop, Post Pop Depression resembles a reflective victory lap for a man who’s seen his share of ups and downs.
Opening track, “Break Into Your Heart,” features Pop vowing to “crawl under your skin,” over keyboards and the stomping rhythm section of Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather) on bass and Matt Helders (Artic Monkeys) on drums. While the album’s first single, “Gardenia,” is highlighted by a heartfelt sing-song chorus.
Throughout Depression’s latter half, the voice that once howled “I wanna be your dog” remains subdued. With one eye on his past and the other on the grave, it’s almost as if Iggy can’t help feeling nostalgic.
“This hasn’t been an easy life,” he reminds listeners on “American Valhalla.” But instead of feeling morbid, the overall result is more akin to a weathered veteran telling the story behind every one of his scars, of which we know Pop has many.
Homme, for his part, keeps the atmosphere relaxed. With a keen ear for the groove, he lets intermittent stabbing guitar lines and the occasional tolling of bells heighten the storytelling vibe many songs possess, even when the proceedings turn really loose, like on the acoustic guitar driven “Vulture.”
But Iggy doesn’t intend to let things end quietly. The finale, “Paraguay,” starts pleasantly enough, before evolving over its three-minute outro into a verbal middle finger directed at any and all who are listening.
Amidst pounding drums and a background refrain, Pop declares, “I wanna be your basic clod/Who made good/And went away while he could.”
As epitaphs go, one would be hard-pressed to write one truer.
– Michael Cimaomo