Iggy Pop makes an energetic, haunting return with his seventeenth album, “Post Pop Depression”

Review by Henry Robins Arts & Entertainment Contributor

Aptly named “The Godfather of Punk,” Iggy Pop has had an enormous influence on the way music has grown over the past few decades.

With or without his signature act The Stooges, he has always had a way of making a statement and has created some of rock’s most important recordings.

But now, after a career spanning nearly fifty years, it looks as though Pop is saying farewell with his latest release, “Post Pop Depression” — and it would be an understatement to simply say he is going out on a high note.

Pop spent the last few years dabbling with jazz, blues and even French music, while creating some rather poorly received albums with The Stooges.

In comparison to that, “Post Pop Depression” is a welcome return to form for Pop— perhaps being his best studio album in decades.

His seventeenth solo release overall, “Post Pop Depression” is Pop delivering the energy and anger that made him so charming to begin with.

Pop made his solo career breakthrough with his 1977 releases; “The Idiot” and “Lust For Life,” which he created with friend and collaborator, David Bowie.

And with his passing nearly three months ago, one can’t help but feel the symbolism in Pop deciding to wrap up his career the same year that Bowie said farewell to his.  

For his apparent swansong, Pop collaborated with the talents of Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme, who produced the record.

The album also features Dead Weather guitarist Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, creating a one-of-a-kind supergroup.

With these gifted artists, Pop has managed to re-create the sound and style that made albums like “The Idiot” and “Lust for Life” so important for their time.

Like Pop’s earlier releases, “Post Pop Depression” frequently dives into the realm of “art rock.”

With avant-garde and unusual tracks such as “Gardenia” and “Paraguay,” the album takes us back to the diverse range of sounds featured on Pop’s late ‘70’s releases.

The track “Sunday” is reminiscent of

“Lust for Life’s” title track with it’s infectiously danceable groove. Even “In the Lobby” is lyrically familiar to Pop’s 1977 track “Nightclubbing.”

Josh Homme’s guitar and production style also adds a distinctive to sound to the record, one that differs from Pop’s previous releases.

Homme’s distinctively dark and crunching guitar playing gives the songs a brooding, garage rock feel. The album is at times very reminiscent of a Queens of the Stone Age record as a result. But as a whole, with its aggressive lyrical themes and musical diversity, “Post Pop Depression” is in every sense an Iggy Pop album.

With this album, Pop makes the listener feel uncomfortably paranoid, fed up with society and eager for a human touch.

“Gardenia,” the album’s lead single, praises a female who is much stronger than Pop, with flattering lyrics.

Other tracks such as “Break Into Your Heart” and “In The Lobby” can make any listener feel intensely paranoid, while “Vulture” will remind anyone of a 1960’s Western flick.

 Other songs convey anger and dreams in everyday life. “Paraguay” has Pop preaching his anger with the modern world, shouting “I dream of getting away to a new life, where there’s not so much f***ing knowledge.”

“Sunday” deals with the frustrations of the average work week and how we all chug through it until it starts all over again.

With it’s danceable beat and surprising, beautiful orchestration at the end, no song will make you both love and hate a day of the week as much as “Sunday.”

Even fifty years into his career, Pop shows that he is still capable of writing material that conveys people’s hopes and frustrations with everyday life.

Pop closes the album with “Paraguay,” shouting “I’m sick, and it’s your fault, and I’m gonna go heal myself now. Yeah!”

Although this song never references anyone in particular, it seems like Pop is saying goodbye to his audience by purely dissing them.

And for someone nicknamed the ‘Godfather of Punk,’ there is probably no better way to end your career than like that.

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