Post Pop Depression
The last nine to ten years of Iggy Pop’s career have been interesting. In that span of time, he reunited with the Stooges and made two new studio albums with them- The Weirdness in 2007 and Ready to Die in 2013. Pop also released two French themed albums- Preliminaries in 2009 and Apres in 2012. With the deaths of the Asheton brothers (Ron in 2009 and Scott in 2014), Pop seems to have retired have the Stooges name and is now continuing his solo career. His latest album, Post Pop Depression, is his 17th studio effort. While labeled as a solo release, Pop collaborated with Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Josh Homme for this album- as Homme plays on and produces the album. Compared to Pop’s last few solo releases, Post Pop Depression sees the 68-year-old punk rocker in fine form with an album that can best be described as a modern day sequel to his work in the mid to late 1970’s.
The album opens with the ska rocker “Break Into Your Heart.” Pop’s is surprisingly strong, as he croons to this brass and guitar heavy track. Homme works his magic with the production, as the guitars sound pleasantly fuzzy. On paper, “Gardenia” might look like a cover of the song by Kyuss- which Hommes was a member of. It isn’t. This “Gardenia” song is a psychedelic grungey number that serves as the album’s lead single. A killer bass line leads the track as Pop sings in his low baritone voice “All I want to do is tell Gardenia what to do tonight.” Speaking of which, the bass is very strong on this album- which would be Homme’s doing in the production side. The bass is especially strong on the dark alternative rocking “American Valhalla” and downright funky Talking Heads-esque “Sunday.”
While Post Pop Depression is very much an Iggy Pop album, Pop doesn’t shy away from experimenting with other genres of music. The aforementioned “Sunday” is an example. There’s also the Mexican tinged “Vulture” and the droning “In the Lobby.” The former showcases Pop’s baritone voice once more while the latter has impressive guitar work. If there are any downsides to the album, the last third does fall a little on the weak side. Still, “Chocolate Drops” has strong lyrics while “German Days” sounds like a lost cut from The Idiot. The album’s closer, “Paraguay”, is a six minute mini-epic. From its haunting a cappella beginning to Pop’s old angry man rant at the end, it really is a powerful song.
Overall, Post Pop Depression is a great album from Iggy Pop. I’m really impressed by this album. When it comes to his solo career, Pop’s discography isn’t critically the most consistent. While modern sounding, this album has the feel of The Idiot and/or Lust for Life. Earlier this year, Pop mentioned that Post Pop Depression might be his last album. Personally, I would love to see Iggy make another album. However- if this ends up being his last one, then this is one hell of a way to go out.