Post Pop Depression
Much was made of this “dream pairing” of leather-torso and that tall streak of desert rock – but frankly they’re bored and/or boring for the most part across Post Pop Depression. An album that is the C- to Blackstar’s A+.
Somewhere along the way, Iggy – far more a concept than a man – went from being rock’s wildest frontman to its smoothest crooner and it’s certainly never unpleasant to hear his rich voice here. But there are trite lyrics and boring song-settings to combat. And the smugness of so many convinced this must be great because a) Josh Homme is some sort of rock god and b) it’s Iggy Pop!
He does have a great knack of showing up at the right time, here he is kicking on toward 70 and right when we just lost Bowie. So he’ll be celebrated (again) for just being alive. But as with when showed up as solo artist the first time, and then again in the mid/late 80s as, for the first time, the rock-Pop crooner, and then again, slap-bang in the middle of grunge, and then reunited with/as The Stooges in a post-White Stripes world there’s really not a lot to hang onto. No great hooks, no truly great songs and a lot of boredom.
It’s odd that people will want to tell you this is a better move than the fairly dud Stooges 2.0 records of recent years, and that it holds up anywhere new the Bowie collabs from the 70s or even the patchiest of moments from the 80s (possibly where Iggy was near his actual best/most interesting) for what I hear is Avenue B with (slightly) louder guitar and the only silly words are sung rather than spoken.
Of course I’ve never lined up to drink from the Homme canteen – I don’t dislike him but can’t quite get a thrill. So here he sounds like he’s part-coasting, part pinching himself. (Pity he’s not pinching himself enough to feel fully awake then).
And yes, Iggy is a legend and always will be – but his is a magic that doesn’t stand up to analysis. You start thinking about what makes Iggy great and/or what he’s made that’s great and the argument curls up almost instantly.
No one could do what he does – except for when he’s imitating himself. Which he nearly does here. On the two or three songs where he, seemingly, can be bothered.