Second Careers of Great Artists: Iggy Pop

I’ll preface this by stating that I am huge fan of the Stooges and Iggy (Raw Power remains one of my top 10 albums) and with the exception of The Idiot and Lust for Life, have very little interest in Iggy’s solo career. Last year Iggy released Préliminaires I was intrigued by the move to make a jazz inspired album.  The guy who once shouted, “No fun!” seemed to making an album that (maybe a good deal of his audience) that seemed well…no fun.

Surprisingly this album works well, and Iggy’s growl has turned into something of a crooner.  On the French song Les feuilles mortes (The Dead Leaves) he seems to have found his inner Leonard Cohen.  (Although from judging from his recent fall off stage at Carnegie Hall, this we needn’t worry about Iggy spouting Buddhist philosophy just yet.)

But Préliminaires works because Pop is embracing a musical style out of his element and making it his own without embarrassment.  Fans of Iggy have always known that he was a great songwriter and singer.  Where The Stooges caught your attention because it was abrasive and in your face, Préliminaires catches your attention in its understatements.


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