In a year where so many legendary musicians have passed it’s great to see the ones still around today doing pretty cool things. Iggy Pop has released his new album Post Pop Depression and has done so with the help of Josh Homme, Dean Fertita and Matt Helders – also known as a “pretty badass lineup”. One thing I’ve noticed about Iggy Pop is that he’s never really had a sound to call his own. The Stooges had the rough, gritty sound of punk to rip through and his solo efforts have ranged from being pretty great to falling a little flat. His greatest solo efforts were in part down to the work of David Bowie (The Idiot) or the one or two hits that featured on the record (Lust For Life). Perhaps this is where this new album’s title stemmed from? A depression of the genre, or of the man himself? But still, for this record he’s teamed up with two of QOTSA and the drummer of Arctic Monkeys, so it’s pretty safe to say you can expect something that rocks hard and gets you hard, with excitement.
Break Into Your Heart kicks things off with Iggy Pop crooning his way on top of some desert licked, haunting guitar noise that comes straight out of the QOTSA camp. A swinging, heavy riff puts motion into action alongside a thumping drum beat to create a beginning that stutters and struts its way through the airwaves which comes across as a pretty solid number. The addition of piano fits in nicely with the downtrodden tempo of the track and yeah, it’s not bad. Lead single Gardenia straightens up the record with an instrumental that’s full of harmonies, handclaps, swing, basslines and a lead melody that sinks into your head as if it’s made from sand. The bassline offers up a couple reasons to get swaying inbetween the harsh strikes of the guitar in the background, bringing together a contrast that works well amongst the haunting lyricism. It’s a good song and does a good job at bringing a lot of the urgency and ferocity you would expect from the former Stooges frontman and the mind behind QOTSA.
Fortunately this deep-rooted groove stays for the duration of Post Pop Depression as American Valhalla features a bassline that’s thick with the good stuff. It’s also here where Iggy Pop ominously announces that he’s “nothing without my name” right before heading back into the crooning swing of things with In The Lobby. This part acts a stumbling block for the record before once again returning to form with the track Sunday. Complete with thumping, tribal drums and a guitar riff that’s vintage Homme with all its off-kilteriness and quirks this track is naturally danceable and so well layered that it actually restores the form and momentum of the album. The riff is infectious beyond belief, and it’s easily the best track on the record.
All in all Post Pop Depression is a solid record from Iggy Pop. Personally I was expecting a record full of everything we heard from Sunday and Gardenia and perhaps some parts of the closing track Paraquay. Those tracks proudly displayed a lot of energy through their well-crafted instrumentals and they were boosted with riffs that were off-kilter but accessible, and I feel like these were elements that should have been explored throughout the entirety of the record. It seems the quartet decided to take things into a much more moodier direction which in turn lead to a lot of the record sounding too drained of any sense of what makes the musicians great in their perspective bands. Chocolate Drops is a pretty funny track though I must say.