(Thousand Mile Inc)
Opening with a jaunty, slightly sad “Et si tu n’existais pas” and strong female backing vocals, we realize that the great godfather of punk, Iggy pop, is presenting another French-flavored release, like his 2009 Preliminaries, on his new digital download-only album, Après. As the man himself says, “many of these songs are in French, probably because it is French culture which has most stubbornly resisted the mortal attacks of the Anglo-American music machine.”
A truly perfect classical acoustic guitar floats in, out and around organ, strings and Iggy’s romantic singing on Serge Gainsbourg’s “La Javanaise,” while train-like brushes cross a snare of Iggy’s low vocal take on Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” and an almost exact remake of The Beatles “Michelle.”
“I’m Going Away Smiling” really mines the lost love feel. This is a really great song—short, perfect and to the point with popping drums, trilling piano ivories and bugle. “La Vie en Rose” is here (of course), which Iggy’s bass baritone serves nicely; there’s a nice mix of horns and sexy upright bass on “What Is This Thing Called Loved,” probably Iggy’s best vocal performance on these 10 songs, along with a spectacular vocal and piano-only ender, “Only the Lonely.”
Is Après for all Iggy fans? I’d say no. But at 65, this guy can pretty much do what he wants and I’d say this collection is pretty damn good.