Iggy Pop – EVERY LOSER

A fantastic return from punk's godfather...

No one can do it like Iggy Pop does it. 19 albums into his solo career, the punk godfather remains an iconoclastic voice, raising the temperature of every room he cares to visit. Someone who long ago distilled rock ‘n’ roll elixir down to its finest, most potent formula, it’s to his credit that Iggy has developed such a wide-ranging solo catalogue; 2019’s ‘Free’ for instance, was almost ambient in its glacial beauty.

‘EVERY LOSER’ however, returns Iggy Pop to home base. Backed by an all-star group – which includes everyone from Chili Peppers’ drum-thumper Chad Smith to Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan – it’s a scorching, sleazy rock statement. ‘Frenzy’ is a phenomenal opening gambit, one of Iggy’s best 21st century tracks, all leering guitars and seismic vocal.

‘Strung Out Johnny’ recalls his Bowie era alignments, a song that transposes love with addiction. The clinical, post-punk flavoured guitars are worthy of ‘The Idiot’ while presenting these ideas in a fresh manner. It’s far from nostalgia – more someone honouring their past in the best way possible.

‘New Atlantis’ is a baroque flavoured work, a pastoral tome whose ’67 style prettification is offset by Iggy’s stunning lyric, discussing a road trip for “a whore of a city”. Exploding into life like a fireworks display, it’s in turn sombre and unrelenting, a statement of life on the outside.

Iggy Pop – EVERY LOSER

‘Modern Day Ripoff’ is a piano-driven rock bulldozer, yet its a sign of this album’s eclectic virility that the song is followed by the elegiac ‘Morning Show’. Iggy is nothing is not the master of the unexpected.

‘Neo Punk’ is the sound of the original Stooge looking at the younger generation and showing them how it’s done, a feral D-Beat stomper that illuminates Iggy Pop at his caveman best. ‘All The Way Down’ meanwhile is sheer LA rock raunch, while ‘Comments’ surges back into those early 80s aesthetics, peeling back the glitz of New Pop to reveal something more flawed, and humane.

Closing with ‘The Regency’, ‘EVERY LOSER’ knows that the key to any successful party is when to call time on the debauchery. Containing just 11 tracks – two of which are interludes – ‘EVERY LOSER’ masters brevity, piecing together aspects of Iggy’s past to construct an ode to his present. A vital, thrilling affair, it ranks amongst the best of his solo work.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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