Now pushing 70, Iggy Pop strips off for what might very well be his final role of the (well and truly) loaded dice. There's no point in going for anything fancy, which evidently is exactly how producer and vibes-provider, Queens of the Stone Age mainstay Josh Homme hears it as well. He's roped in a thoroughly modern big hitter in Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders with LA session vet Dean Fertita completing the line up for this giddy last ride on the merry-go-round.
He's also captured the Ig in defiant, defining mood - strident, ludicrously lyrical and not so much raging as ranting at the dying of the light. Unless he tells us we'll never know what shadow, if any, the imminent and eventual passing of his comrade in arms David Bowie cast on the making of this record, but it's difficult to hear the vocal and lyrical twists and turns of Gardenia and the icy descant on German Days and not wonder what might have been had they made one last collaboration. The tracks fizz with possibilities as the band exercise admirable restraint while Iggy is allowed to empty himself of words, feelings and cripes knows what else.
Too often this kind of sorcerer's apprentice scenario created when an old master indentures a younger gun at the tail end of his career ends unhappily as one overshadows the other and both end up disappointed. No so here for Post Pop Depression (what's in a title?) is exactly the kind of record you'd hope Homme would have the confidence to make in thrall to one of his obvious heroes. Iggy sounds ravaged, gnarly and generous - giving everything he's got to the cause, while the rhythm section rises to the challenge and leaves the imitators for dust.
Vulture drops us into some dystopian hell trip, but Sunday is a peppery twist on old themes as strings soar and backing singers simper, while the album's out, the furious, fiery Paraguay abandons any sense of decorum and goes balls out for the finish line with Iggy decrying all those who've ever done him down/wrong/in. Class that.
What happens next for Iggy is anyone's guess, but if pipe and slippers beckon we can be thrilled silly to have had this for as long as we have.
|Jen Lane: This Life Of Mine||Ged Wilson: Tonight At Noon|
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