Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
The patriarch of punk returns with the seventeenth solo album in a four decade career, which may prove to be his swansong. Whether pre-release hubrus or not his February comments about “… closing up after this. That’s what I feel. It’s my gut instinct.”, Post Pop Depression and the album’s melancholy tone fits with that statement and harks back strongly to albums such as The Idiot and New Values, putting a modern twist on the David Bowie produced Berlin-era sound. It is also prescient that the 68 year old Mr Osterberg is the last man standing of the “Berlin” trio including Bowie, and Lou Reed. Don’t be fooled, although lacking the rabid dog bite of his earlier work, Pop is not one to go quietly into the night.
Although Post Pop Depression is his baby, the end result demonstrates a spot on collaborative effort thanks to Queens Of The Stone Age creative force Josh Homme, Dean Fertita (multi-instrumentalist for QOTSA and The Dead Weather), and Arctic Monkeys tub-thumper Matt Helders. Dispatched in a swift 42 minutes, after an intensive two week writing and recording process, opener ‘Break Into Your Heart’ sets proceedings with its sparse guitar work and sinister refrain “I’m going to break into your heart, I’m going to crawl under your skin…”. Other highlights of the album include the synth-heavy poppiness of ‘Gardenia’, ‘American Valhalla’ with its quasi ‘China Girl’ opening before descending into a bass heavy chug with the sinewy singer proclaiming “I have nothing but my name”, and ‘German Days’ 70s rock riffing mixed with a dark and foreboding chorus.
Criticism could be levelled at the record for being too stylistically similar throughout, but Post Pop Depression is one of the instances where this works in its favour. Very different in style from Pop’s last couple of releases Apres and Preliminaires, which displayed his love of Bossa Nova Jazz standards and Cole Porter, it is true that on first listen this may disappoint those hoping for a return to his Raw Power days. Don’t be fooled though, for all of its mid-tempo melancholy there is still the same vitriolic darkly humorous bile that has run through his catalogue. If this truly is Pop’s farewell then album closer, ‘Paraguay’, is as perfect a sign off and encapsulation of an extraordinary career as you could hope for with its sign off rant “You take your motherfucking laptop / And just shove it into your goddamn foul mouth and down your shit heel gizzard / You fucking phony two faced three timing piece of TURD!”. A final 'fuck you' to an America that may yet elect a talking comb-over to run their country, and a great end to an album.