Some time ago an announcement appeared out of nowhere that a new release by Iggy Pop was coming soon, called Post Pop Depression. If this wasn’t causing excitement enough, it also got revealed that for this album he closely worked together with Josh Homme (ex-Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal). Those two writing music together just has to be a recipe for an extremely interesting concoction. Added to the studio roster was guitarist Dean Fertita (Queens Of The Stone Age) and drummer Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys).
With all the musicians that have recently been claimed by rock & roll heaven, you can’t help but wonder if this is Iggy‘s last statement, especially with a title like Post Pop Depression. If it is, he’s definitely leaving us with a kicker of an album! The vibe of the whole record is one of reflection and introspection on his past eventful life. Quite a chunk of the songs are also inspired by his most difficult and succesful time when he was hanging out and working with no one less than David Bowie in Berlin. The influences of his ’70s albums Lust For Life and The Idiot are therefore really easy to be found in for instance Sunday and German Days.
Iggy Pop himself doesn’t bring big surprises really. He croons through his lyrics with his all too familiar grainy aged voice, adding some spoken-word pieces here and there. Somehow he still manages to put tons of emotion in his rather simple singing, you can feel the hardship of living in every sentence he utters. The influence of Josh Homme makes this one of his best albums though, I can’t stop listening to this little piece of art. You can very clearly hear the desert sound of Homme‘s stoner bands, even more supported by the fact that most of the songs got recorded at Rancho De La Luna, Joshua Tree. As soon as you hear the music those are the things you think of immediately if you’re familiar to them.
For me personally the whole album is a winner, though to pick some favorites out, I’d go with Gardenia to start with. The love song that was also the first released song, is something you wouldn’t link to Iggy Pop. Though if you listen properly you can hear through the dreamy guitars and sweet voiced sounding Iggy that there’s a darkness behind the love proclamation, basically singing about having control over someone you love. American Valhalla gave me chills especially at the end when Iggy whispers in a graveyard voice “I have nothing but my name”. Vulture feels like a declaration against the present music industry that lives from trend to trend not really caring about the victims they’re making. With Chocolate Drops Iggy made me laugh out loud quite often with lines like “When you get to the bottom, you’re near the top, the shit turns to chocolate drops.”, even though the quite heavy topic of hitting rock bottom. When you think that Iggy got all soft, he still smashes you in the face with Paraguay, ending the song (and the album) with a rant against technology, social media and present society like only the godfather of punk can.
If we can believe Iggy Pop, this might be his last album ever. If so I’m truly happy he still found the energy to bring this fragile yet muscle showing art rock record into our lives. It’s dark, but at the same time joyful and catchy, sometimes almost poppy. But if you’re even a little bit into Iggy’s music and style, you just have to check this out. I hope this great rock icon and person can still be around for a long time, but hell, if not he definitely left fighting. I’m putting this on my shelf of top albums of this year: 9/10!
Release Date: March 18th, 2016
Label: Loma Vista Recordings
1. Break Into Your Heart
3. American Valhalla
4. In The Lobby
7. German Days
8. Chocolate Drops