Tuesday, August 13, 2019


AVENUE B--Iggy Pop

An album that's more interesting to read than listen to, I'm afraid:too much of his 1999 release, Avenue B, his 12th release, is light, redundant pop,disturbingly generic stylings that sap power from whatever conviction Iggy can summon. The version of 'Shakin All Over' rattles the teeth rather nicely, but overall, this album seems misguided, a mistaken idea to market Iggy into Real Legend, the Last Rock and Roll Survivor Who Matters. He may be all that, but there is a tangible sense of someone entering a room who believes His Time Has Come. There is more packaging than anything else; the emphasis on a slow-to medium pace while Pop ruminates, remembers, regrets and eventually reconciles with his life's deeds (theoretically at least) is not one of his strengths, and never has been. Unlike Lou Reed, who can go maudlin and sentimental until he ripens and rots and yet still manages to make you believe that he at means it, Pop sounds merely flat and cornball.He is and always will a ranter, a raver, a rocker, a reactor, never a thoughtful reflector of the meaning of his history. Ig has to rock rough and hard, with those clipped couplets and first-lesson guitar chords slicing up the music of history in ways that remind you that wit is a survival instinct. He can do it, as his fellow Motor City brethren Wayne Kramer, former MC-5, does on albums like The Hard Stuff and Citizen Wayne. We don't need Iggy to become the American Peter Townsend, forever flummoxed by the irony that he didn't die before he got old.

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