Better To Burn Out? (Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression, review)
I didn’t want to leave him behind, but I knew it was time. It was for the best.
Sometimes that’s what happens though. You lose a friend, you say goodbye in your head, and you walk away. But that doesn’t mean your feelings won’t betray you and leaving you hurting, sometimes aching like a bad knee in-between seasons.
That deep ache is how this week’s album comes out.
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
released March 18, 2016
Iggy Newell Osterber, Jr., better known by his stage name, Iggy Pop, is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and actor. He is the vocalist of the infamous and incredibly influential band The Stooges, and is a bit of a wildcard.
Post Pop Depression is Iggy’s 17th solo album. That’s right, he’s made 17 albums on his own, and it’s his 23rd studio album altogether, if you include 1977’s Kill City which he partnered with James Williamson on, and the 5 Stooges albums he’s been a part of.
Interestingly enough, Iggy has been doing his own thing longer than he’s been partying with the boys, which says a lot about his own rock n’ roll journey. Iggy Pop has been involved with lots of different acts, and not unlike a recently deceased pop idol, he has been part of pop culture for decades, participating in film, television and radio too.
I think that’s important to keep in mind while listening to this record.
The album title says it all, Iggy Pop knows that his time has been significant, but he isn’t a young buck anymore, and this album feels like a nod to years gone by. He’s looking backwards on his life and sharing with us some anecdotes and utter honesty about what he sees happening, but he’s not lamenting entirely, he’s still having fun and making an influence.
Apparently the real reason the album is called Post Pop Depression is because the album collaborators Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal), Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), and Dean Fertita (multi-instrumentalist that’s played with literally everyone, think Dave Grohl), were sad for weeks after recording the tracks, and experience real depression.
But what is the album like you ask?
Gardenia is probably the standout track at the moment for me, with it’s jumpy lyrics and whisky tinted vocals. This is followed shortly by American Valhalla, a track that explores death and likely ties into David Bowie’s own death. And that’s the way the album goes the whole time, back and forth between sex and death. Not a terribly detailed account, but Iggy Pop manages to make it interesting for us anyway.
The closer, Paraguay is probably the most interesting though. Because it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the album, but it’s message is very much an Iggy thought, one that demonstrates he isn’t exactly your classic and measured guy, he is an explorer and an innovator.
These tracks are raw especially so in Chocolate Drops, Vulture, and Break Into Your Heart. In short, if you are expecting heavy rock, you’ll be disappointed. But that doesn’t mean this doesn’t pop.
I’ve been there, I’ve lost my share of well-worn friends to circumstance and also to decisions, both of my volition and theirs. But that doesn’t mean that a friend for a season should never have been. Iggy Pop may miss his friend and his season may be fading away, but the memories and feels will remain. That’s one of the benefits of a legacy.
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