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Album Review : Iggy Pop :Every Loser

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Review by Rob Broom for MPM

Iggy returns with some musical friends and lights it up with one of his best albums.

On Iggys American Caesar album cover there was a message  ‘Parental Warning. This is an Iggy Pop record’.

Every Loser needs a similar warning because it is, thank goodness, not just ‘another’ Iggy Pop record (this is his 19th solo album) but a very good Iggy Pop record and right up there with his best. It is up to date and ready to rock.

Iggy has worked with many great musicians over the years. Whilst David Bowie is the one most mentioned, Andy McCoy (Hanoi Rocks) and Steve Jones (Sex Pistols, Professionals and more) are among the lengthy list of co-conspirators with whom he has joined forces to make music.

For this album we get Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and Taylor Hawkins RIP (Foo Fighters). They all help crank up the energy and set the musical tone.
The album is produced by Andrew Watt (responsible for Ozzys recent solo releases), who also plays guitar and he does an excellent job on both counts.

Iggys music is sometimes difficult to categorize as he does vary his musical style and rhythm. This album is no exception with a mix of styles, but for the punks and rockers it kicks off with ‘Frenzy’, a tune full of bile and anger and definitely not radio friendly! Reminds me of the Stooges and thats a good thing! It’s a great start and really sets the pace. Doesn’t sound like Iggy (who is 75 years young) has mellowed out much. There is hope for us all.

Having revved us up with the opening track, next song up – ‘Strung Out Johnny’ – slows it down but certainly pulls no punches. Dealing with the issues of addiction and consequence this is a standout tune and Iggy is vocally on fine form.

‘New Atlantis’ keeps the groove slow and moody as Iggy sings a love letter to his adopted city of Miami, but reminds us of rising sea levels threatening the city as well as gangsters and other low life’s.

The energy levels ramp up again with ‘Modern Day Rip Off’. A sneering, aggressive vocal delivery from Iggy keeps us engaged and jumping (or should that be pogoing?) and the whole song blasts along.

Having got out our hearts pumping,   ‘Morning Show’ slows it right down again with a thoughtful song about aging and still putting on a face. It’s a wonderful piece of human reflection.

‘The News For Andy’ which comes next and ‘My Animus Interlude’ which is placed  before the final track ‘The Regency’ are both experimental filler type pieces. They may entertain you or they may not!

Getting back on track ‘Neo Punk’ sounds like the whole wave of ‘punk’ that rose in the late 1990’s who had been influenced by the punks that came before, including of course Iggy himself. Think Green Day Sum 41 etc and it has plenty of energy and fire to back it up. Iggy really is enjoying himself on this one.

‘All the Way Down’ reminds me briefly of Alice Coopers vocal delivery before veering off into typical Iggy territory. This is a great tune with a terrific guitar break. It sounds sleazy and when Iggy tells us ‘he might just blow up a turd’ you can’t help but agree.

On ‘Comments’ Iggys voice croons over the top of an accompaniment of synths, guitar and drums that give delightful waves of sound to create an early 1980s groove.

‘The Regency’ is another non radio friendly tune, full of anger and statement but in places the sound makes me think of Teardrop Explodes. Iggy sneers his way through parts of the lyrics as only he can.
Drumming on this and ‘Comments’ by the late Taylor Hawkins.

As mentioned earlier, this is a very good album and worth the time and investment. Iggy fans should buy it immediately. The mix of musical styles give the album some breathing room and make the whole work more interesting.

Lyrically Iggy is reflective about age, drugs and the state of the wider world yet musically still has time to grab you by the scruff of the neck and shake you into action with some rocking tunes.  So my advice is don’t resist, at 75 years young Iggy may have given up stage diving but that doesn’t mean you have to.

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