An album titled ‘Ready To Die’ with Iggy Pop stood on the front, presented like a pile of leftover chicken bones, looks like an archetypal example of a bad album spat out by an aging legend. But fear not- it’s not as bad as it seems. In fact, if we’re giving albums like this they’re own ranking scale, it’s actually pretty good.
On the most basic level, it is reassuring that the album isn’t just an attempt to create another Raw Power. Despite the impressions certain insurance adverts may give, Iggy is willing to calm down, even if only for a little bit. Whilst the Stooges guitar work seems to have changed little since the early 70’s, the vocal performance Iggy himself gives is much more similar to his slower, lower style from albums such as Lust For Life.
Tracks where the aging Iggy has to try and keep up with generic psychopathic Stooges guitar work are the least impressive- and it was probably a bad idea for the band to touch on their old sound at all. However, Ready to Die is a very diverse album and there are lots of songs which do not meet this problem.
The track ‘Gun’ provides hints of a softer, swinging, rock n’ roll feeling; something you thought you would probably never hear from Iggy And The Stooges. Similarly, tracks such as ‘DD’s’ and ‘Sex and Money’ make use of a brass backing band adding a touch of Motown, then you’re left in confusion when you hear the almost complete calmness of acoustic country tracks such as ‘The Departed’.
A lot of the album’s diversity is most probably due to the fact that Iggy and the Stooges aren’t quite sure how to make a record at this, slightly washed up, point in their musical career. However, as ever with the Stooges, even if they’re not sure what they’re doing, some good songs are still produced out of it. This album is no Raw Power, or Lust for Life for that matter, but it’s certainly not bad.
…Ian is listening to Oddisee – American Greed…