By Brandon Deleon
Artist: Iggy Pop
Album: Post Pop Depression
Label: Loma Vista
Release Date: March 18, 2016
Iggy Pop returns in his first album since 2013 in what the 68-year-old implies will be his last release. Post Pop Depression is a collaborative album produced by and co-written with Josh Homme, frontman for Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Them Crooked Vultures and Eagles of Death Metal, featuring Dean Fertita of The Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys drummer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Helders. This album captures the dark spirit found in the Stooges’ music as well as Queens of the Stone Age and The Dead Weather.
It sounds like anything else Josh Homme has produced, but featuring Pop’s dreary perspective on his legacy. The album’s sound encapsulates this supergroup’s prior works perfectly into one cohesive fusion. The result is a raw but well orchestrated rock album that explores themes like life and death, transitions and the bitter outlook of an artist who has seen success come and go many times in his life. The album shows a more pensive side of Iggy Pop, with Pop stating in an NPR interview, “I wanted to make a record where I did something other than shout.” Lyrics like “Death is a hard pill to swallow”, “I hope I’m not losing my life tonight” and the spoken word closer to “American Valhalla” “I’ve nothing but my name” present a morbid outlook that indicates his retirement from music and will to pursue art through other mediums. My favorite song on the album, “Sunday” is a dance track filled with elements of hard rock that deals with the idea of deserving a tranquil Sunday after a week’s worth of work (in Pop’s case,a lifetime of classic albums and tours), behind a constant low tom groove on the drums, funky bass and stylish guitar embellishments.This is perhaps in reference to Iggy Pop making one last great album before an official retirement, or his eventual death. The overt themes of death sound like a response to Blackstar, the final album by longtime collaborator, friend and recently deceased David Bowie. “Sunday” closes with a classical arrangement that sounds like something Danny Elfman (of Oingo Boingo and Tim Burton movies) would write. Homme and Pop stated that this classical piece was something they’ve never done before, and that now felt like the right time to borrow from the genre. A song titled “Vulture” talks about how the animal waits for other animals to die to it’s advantage, which seems like a bash at the media for profiting off the death of musicians, many being Pop’s friends and contemporaries.
The album’s overall sound is filled with a lot of bassled songs played with light distortion, guitar chords mostly played on the upbeats, and Pop’s crooning vocals. There are plenty of guitar solos, and there are two back-to-back songs that feature a lot of piano and sound like anthemic Paul Mccartney songs, a strange departure for Pop. The album closes with a song called “Paraguay”, which sounds like a cruise-ship anthem for retiring to the landlocked, subtropical country of the same name. Like the song “American Valhalla”, Pop finds himself looking for a place to escape to. Overall, the album is a very enjoyable experience for any fan of Iggy and the Stooges, as well as all things Josh Homme.