Post Pop Depression Iggy Pop Caroline Australia
By joining forces with one of modern rock music’s greatest songwriting talents, Iggy Pop has produced an album that will introduce his unmistakable voice and sass to a new generation. From the clever title through to the smallest flourishes of these nine tracks, Post Pop Depression is an impressively polished and exciting collection that rates among his strongest work.
For his 17th studio album, Pop has hooked up with Josh Homme, frontman of Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. The latter trio was completed by John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), so Homme is no stranger to the dubious “supergroup” tag.
His unique musical fingerprints are all over this record, and the two players he tapped to join them in the studio — Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, and QOTSA multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita — are perfectly suited to Pop’s alternately detached and impassioned baritone.
An array of moods and styles ensure that energy levels remain high throughout, but two songs in particular stand out. Gardenia is built on shimmering chords and an irresistible bass groove, with sparse verses that allow Pop’s yearning voice to shine as he searches for the titular character.
Sunday pivots on a busy rhythm section, while Homme’s jagged guitar phrases are heard in the right channel only; later, the six-minute track is haunted by a vocal melody (“Always ready / Always steady”) that’s topped off by an orchestral coda.
It’s a truly inspired composition, and anyone who has ever enjoyed Pop’s pop presence — from fronting punk rock progenitors the Stooges through to his later solo albums — should check it out to see how the 68-year-old has reinvented himself yet again. works through an uptempo post-bop piece with big luscious chords and a quick melodic line, while Remolacha (Spanish for sugar beet) employs a Latino rhythm, with suitably discursive piano treble, and allows wide scope for Sam Anning’s bass contributions, as well as for Eric Doob’s inventive percussion.
The title track uses brief semi-classical excursions in a composition that also includes a bluesy undercurrent and fast Art Tatum-like runs. The longest track, The Schlep, at more than seven minutes, features clever rhythmic hesitations, giving the bass an opportunity to weave through an emphasised solo, and Doob offers a punctuated passage between Winkelman’s chords.
While I Sleep successfully paints a dark scenario with dreamy passages, yet swings in a strong way, abetted by Anning’s solidly stable bass line perfectly integrated with the piano.
This is an album of great variety, showing that much can be achieved by a piano trio with imaginative compositions and skilled, unified players.