Friday, 3 May 2019

BOOTLEG REVIEW: Post Pop Depression (Iggy Pop, 2016)

This review was originally published in 2016.

Produced by Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, this is a strong set from the veteran rocker.

‘Break into Your Heart’ is a strong opener, building a Doors-like atmosphere that is a nice throwback to Pop’s early inspirations. Intentional or otherwise, it is an atmospheric salvo that pulls you in. From the second track, ‘Gardenia’, the style shifts toward the style of his Bowie collaborations of the late 70s.

‘American Valhalla’ might be the best track on the album. A first person narrative about an aimless search for validation after a life of violence, it is one of the more political tunes on the album. While the lyrics are not explicit, it could be taken as a lament for his homeland’s veterans.

Among other highlights, ’Sunday’ stands out for its’ great bottom. Combining a wistful lyric with a bass-heavy, funky beat, this is the closest thing to a dance tune on the album. 

The set climaxes with ‘Paraguay’, a terrific tune in which Pop looks forward to escaping the material BS and superficiality of contemporary society. Featuring chugging guitars, chanting and Pop raging against the anxieties of modern living. It’s awesome, bleak, hilarious and uplifting, all at the same time.

The production is nice and scuzzy. It feels like a great garage band got together and jammed out. Pop’s lyrics are evocative and elliptical without slipping into obvious symbolism. One of the highlights of the album is Pop's occasional spoken outbursts, which lend the set an extra layer of righteous anger. And while his voice may have weathered, Pop sings with a vigour and vitality that puts most of today’s over-produced rock stars to shame.

All in all, Post Pop Depression is a terrific contemporary showcase from one of rock’s enduring musical voices. 

If you are new to this blog, I also co-host a podcast on James Bond called The James Bond Cocktail Hour. Every episode, we do a review of one of the books and one of the movies, picked at random. 

In the latest episode we review the 1963 film From Russia With Love, starring Sean Connery. Subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts!

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