Jan 06, 2023
By Ian Rushbury
Iggy Pop is 75. Just consider that for a moment. No one is more surprised than him that he’s still making tough, pissed off rock music. The fact that it’s also damn good is a blessing. Every Loser is a sampler platter of Iggy through the ages, starting off with the visceral fuzztone crunch of “Frenzy.” “So give me a try before I fucking die/My mind is on fire, when I oughta retire?” yelps Mr Pop in a style not a million miles away from the blurred, halcyon days of The Stooges. It’s a bold opener. For “Strung Out Johnny,” Pop switches to his lascivious croon while his stellar backing band romp through a mid-tempo Nirvana groove. So far, so good.
Let’s talk about the band—it’s a who’s who of modern rock royalty: Duff McKagan, Chad Smith, Travis Barker, the late Taylor Hawkins, Dave Navarro, and other luminaries keep their egos in check and serve Pop beautifully on all 11 tracks on the record. Pop does well to keep up with all the young(er) bucks and turns in a great set of vocal performances. His voice sounds older, but not much older. On the spoken word pieces “The News for Andy” and “My Animus,” even his speaking voice sounds great. Rich, resonant, and disturbing. That’s a great combination. He sounds especially cool on “Neo Punk,” spitting lines like “I don’t have to sing/I’ve got publishing/I’m a Neo punk.” Pop bolts his baritone to his late ’70s snarl on “All the Way Down,” claiming, “I can do this all by myself.” He’s probably right. I mean, would you argue with him?
There’s not a bad track on Every Loser. Maybe the torrent of bad news over the last few years has galvanized him into action. Maybe he’s looking at the retirement home and making good use of what he’s got before it all stops working right. Whatever has inspired this third age renaissance needs to be bottled and made freely available. This is album #20 for Iggy Pop and it’s as good as almost anything he’s done in the last 50 years. Not many “legacy” artists can say that and keep a straight face. He may not stage-dive anymore, but I bet he still can’t keep his shirt on for more than five minutes. If Every Loser is anything to go by, we haven’t seen the last of Iggy Pop’s hairless and curiously leathery chest. This is a good thing. (www.iggypop.com)
Author rating: 8/10
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