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Iggy Pop: Free

Iggy Pop
Free
(Loma Vista)

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As always, Iggy Pop surprises his listeners once again on his latest release, Free. I’m a huge fan of Pop’s 2012 Apres, an album of French ballads, and love just as much what he managed with The Stooges, David Bowie, and pretty much all throughout his career. On this, his eighteenth album, the Godfather of Punk meets up with guitarist Noveller (real name Sarah Lipstate) and jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas, to create a 10-song collection Iggy says sees him, “reflecting the exhaustion of post-tour life.”

The title track opens the record, Pop talking over Thomas’ mournful soling. The second tune sees the first instance of Pop singing in and around the low slip bass, heavy snare, and power chords of an eventually very loud “Loves Missing.”

“Dirty Sanchez” features a loud bleating trumpet leading into what you might expect will become (and does) from the song’s title, quite a Zappa-ish call-and-response over a heavy drone.

Nearing the end of the record we basically get Pop reciting poetry around music.

“We Are the People” features lyrics written by Lou Reed back in 1970 (Reed, Bowie and Pop having been quite the trio at one time). Piano, trumpet and low Pop talking make this the best track here. Pop attempts a read of “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,”  the damn trumpet plays too loud and Pop’s recitation is mixed too far back. “The Dawn,” ends Free, with a plopping echo of bass and rushing atmospheric sounds behind him.

Free certainly impresses upon the listener how free Iggy Pop still is.

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