Iggy Pop's Free: What You Need To Know
The last time that former Stooges frontman, BBC 6Music host and all-round living legend Iggy Pop released a solo album – namely 2016's Post Pop Depression – proved to be his highest-charting solo album yet on both sides of the Atlantic. The album also earned the singer a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album, losing out only to his old friend David Bowie and his swansong of a final album, Blackstar.
With that kind of success, you might expect his next album to follow a similar path, but his new full-length offering Free, which arrives in stores today, is a very different beast from its predecessor. Here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
After a tour in support of Post Pop Depression that took in dates across America and Europe, Iggy was evidently feeling a little burned out: “I felt like I wanted to put on shades, turn my back, and walk away. I wanted to be free,” says the singer in a press release for the new album. He also describes the album as one “in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice.” The result is something quite different from his last album – or any of his others, for that matter.
Any special guests?
The two main contributors to the album, besides Iggy himself, are L.A.-based guitarist and composer Sarah Lipstate – better-known as Noveller – and jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas.
What does it sound like?
Where Post Pop Depression made use of the combined talents of Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helder to create an album filled with angular guitar riffs and moody, sassy garage rock, it's obvious from Free's dreamy, jazzy opener that we're in for something very different this time around.
Of the album's 10 tracks, only 'Loves Missing' and recent single 'James Bond' bear any resemblance to those featured on Post Pop Depression. 'Sonali' teams skittering beats with gentle, atmospheric synths, while 'We Are The People' finds Iggy delivering a spoken-word monologue over sparse piano chords and Leron Thomas' lyrical trumpet.
Aside from the infectious immediacy of 'James Bond', other standouts include 'Dirty Sanchez', which combines hints of Mexican mariachi with a steadily building crescendo of guitars and drums, and 'Glow in the Dark', a song of two distinct halves that may well be the album's finest moment.
Does it deliver?
In both its expansive sonic palette and its artistic direction, Free sounds and feels exactly like its title suggests. After a career like Iggy's, there isn't much left to prove, but on his new album he seems to be enjoying the freedom that affords him. It might not be what every Iggy Pop fan would expect, but it's definitely worth your time.
Free is available in hmv stores now