REVIEW | IGGY POP – POST POP DEPRESSION (LP)
Boasting one of the longest and most prolific careers in music, Iggy Pop has just released what is very likely to become his career defining album. Post Pop Depression is remarkable purely due to the fact that it’s his 17th solo studio album, but when you take into account that it was made with Josh Homme, Matt Helders and Dean Fertita, you can’t help but step back in sheer awe over the cast who bring Post Pop Depression to life.
Album opener ‘Break Into Your Heart’ has the swaggering guitar line that could only be credited to Queens of the Stone Age co-conspirators Homme and Fertita. The piano accompaniment and backing vocals provided by Homme makes the song all the more epic, serving as the perfect introduction to the album. While ‘German Days’ could easy be confused for a Queens of the Stone Age song prior to the vocals, the signature guitar work accompanied with Pop’s unmistakable baritone is the perfect combination. If you weren’t listening to in ‘In The Lobby’ carefully, chances are your attention will be brought back to the room when Pop shrieks “I hope I’m not losing my life tonight”. The line is all the more profound given the recent passing of Pop’s long time friend and collaborator David Bowie. Pop is very open about his own mortality across the album, with the track ‘American Valhalla’ ending with Pop solemnly repeating “I am nothing but my name”. With this level of disclosure, along with the revelation from Pop himself that this could be his last album, one can’t help but view Post Pop Depression as his swan song.
There is however a great deal of defiance and gusto in Pop’s performance, made all the more convincing by the instrumental backing. ‘Sunday’ is an especially impressive track that features some incredible strings that are likely to surprise loyal fans of Pop, along with those familiar with his usual grit. ‘Vulture’ has a Spaghetti Western feel that serves as a highlight on the album in terms of lyrics, with the song unfolding via a dark narrative made all the more intense by Pop’s delivery of the verses. The six minute long closer ‘Paraguay’ reaches a point where it turns into Pop’s spoken word manifesto about his grievances with the world and desire to escape to Paraguay. All the while Homme and co steer the song to its conclusion, while still allowing Pop to have the last say and prove exactly why he is still so vital to music.
There are certain musicians who reach legend status early on in their career. While this certainly is the case for Iggy Pop, one can’t help but feel as though he has surpassed when it means to be a legend. Iggy Pop is one of the last surviving greats and while Post Pop Depression may be the last album we hear from Pop, it will inevitably be lauded as one of the finest moments of his career.
Post Pop Depression is available from March 18 via Caroline Australia.
By Holly Pereira / @pseudoholly