For all his obvious talents, Iggy Pop has never quite found a commercial niche--and this 1980 release was his most significant bid for mainstream recognition. At the time, BRICK BY BRICK received considerable critical and popular attention, and several cuts enjoyed a great deal of airplay. But twenty years later the failures of the release are all too obvious.
There are a lot of good cuts here, but the trouble is that very few of them actually sound like Iggy Pop; instead, they sound like songs that Lou Reed, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen might have done, and done quite a bit better. "Candy," a duet with Kate Pierson of The B-52's that charted, is enjoyable enough but it is essentially a throwaway; probably the best cut from BRICK BY BRICK is "Moonlight Lady," a completely unexpected and remarkably beautiful ballad.
Perhaps the single worst flaw in BRICK BY BRICK is that the sound becomes repetitive. The first half of the recording is interesting, often intriguing, and it leads you to wonder what Pop is building toward. Unfortunately, the second half of the recording is merely more of the same, and after a certain point you begin to feel that you've heard it all before earlier on.
While there are things to enjoy here, BRICK BY BRICK is neither hardcore Iggy Pop enough to please his cult fans nor slick enough to make much of a wave in purely pop circles. If you're determined to have everything that Iggy Pop has done, go ahead--but don't expect too much from this particular title.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer