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Judy G.

CD of The Week

Week of 1/09/23

    Iggy Pop - Every Loser (Atlantic / Gold Tooth)

    Twenty-five albums into his career (including the five with The Stooges), the 75-year-old Iggy Pop (born James Newell Osterberg, Jr.) proves why he will always be the Godfather of Punk. On the blistering new album Every Loser, Pop careens his way through these 11 tracks like The Blues Brothers driving through that mall. With no f*cks to give (except for a lot of f-bombs in the lyrics), Iggy sounds as good as ever. Whether he is singing, speaking, or screaming, his surly baritone is perfectly balanced with his new "band of losers," comprised of some of the biggest names in rock and roll. No stranger to collaborating with talented and unique artists, he enlists the likes of Duff McKagan, Chad Smith, Josh Klinghoffer, Stone Gossard, and the late Taylor Hawkins to provide the searing backdrop, while big-time producer/instrumentalist Andrew Watt (Eddie Vedder, Morrissey, Elton John) leads the charge, pushing Iggy to dig deep.

    While not every song on the album assaults you with crisp punk noise, the "softer" tunes still inject harsh doses of reality. The subject of addiction, one Iggy is familiar with, is the driving theme of "Strung-Out Johnny," a beautiful slice of new wave. Now sober, on the not-so-soft "Modern Day Ripoff," he acknowledges that while he can still rock, it takes a little extra since he isn't using substances: "I ran out of blow a long time ago, I can't smoke a J or my guts fly away." On the synth-y rocker "Comments," Iggy lays bare the loneliness of social media. "New Atlantis" is a love letter to his home city, but acknowledges that climate crisis may one day drown Miami like the fabled ancient metropolis. A few short spoken-word interludes show off his wry sense of humor and sultry panache. And he takes down an unlikely foe, stadium parking lot companies, on the epic album closer "The Regency."

    Album opener "Frenzy" is a straight-up punk rock banger and is filled with a raucous energy most singers half his age couldn't pull off today, his bravado is on full display. One imagines Iggy ripping off his shirt as he spouts the opening lyrics "I've got a d*ck and two balls, that's more than you all." Classic. You can also hear his joy as he whoops and laughs at the end of "Neo-Punk," accompanied on drums by a true neo-punk in his own right, Travis Barker. Overall, the record is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, as evident on "The Morning Show," a ballad about hiding depression: "I'll fix my face and go, Go and do the morning show."

    While he may not be up to his old antics, like addiction, stage diving, and self-mutilation, Iggy is every bit the lusty, lewd, and lovable showman on Every Loser, touching upon all the aspects of his career. He is simultaneously mature and immature, angry and silly, youthful and old. It's a testament to his resilience and talent as a grand storyteller, performer, and true punk icon. Love live Iggy Pop!

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    Review by Dave Lindquist

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