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Iggy & The Stooges

IggyReady To Die

The irrepressible Iggy Pop is back and sounding anything but ready to die. Reunited not only with The Stooges, but also the second most important collaborator throughout his long career, guitarist James Williamson, Pop sounds inspired and artistic, and has made a far better album than 2007’s The Wierdness.

Williamson has been there by Pop’s side for some of his best work both in and out of The Stooges, and he brings more than just his chainsaw-through-glass guitar to this raucous, unrepentant album.

Ready To Die finds Pop surly and stirring the pot as often as he is reflective – though ‘mellow’ in Iggy’s world is still pretty out there for the rest of us. ‘Fame & Fortune make me sick’, he croons over Williamson’s subtle acoustic guitar on Unfriendly World; ‘I can’t feel nothing real/my lights are all burned out’ (The Departed) hint at the sadness that comes with a life lived hard and nearing its conclusion, and Beat That Guy touches on a fight with depression.  Don’t think he’s gone soft though – he remains defiant in the face of his impending mortality, and isn’t giving up yet: ‘I’m shooting for the sky / ‘cos I’m ready to die’ (Ready To Die).

Rest assured there’s plenty of life left in Iggy Pop, and although he gets pensive at times, he has Williamson at his side to ensure he never tips over into moroseness and keep proceedings as full of punk attitude as they were 40 years ago when they first collaborated on the cult classic, Raw Power.

SHANE PINNEGAR

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