First off, the review: After "The Weirdness", this is truly a surprisingly good album. I was honestly expecting Iggy to be phoning in terrible lyrics again, but not so. This album stands on its own as a genuine Stooges album with some real effort put into it. I realize I am not the first one to draw comparisons with Kill City, but hey, it's there... you can't help it. In fact, this is by far more of a follow-up to that album than to "Raw Power" but that's a good thing. While I doubt Scott Asheton participated much due to health issues, it's nice to see his name in the credits. It is also great to see (and hear) the names of Steve MacKay and Scott Thurston in the credits. In a way, the line-up is quite similar to that of "Kill City". And Mike Watt is certainly an official Stooge after all these years. But the main driving force behind this album is the same as it was in the mid-70s: Iggy Pop and James Williamson. As before, this album features a mix of all out rock tunes like only The Stooges can create, along with some seriously great ballads like "The Departed", the album's highpoint. The nod to "I Wanna Be Your Dog" is both musically perfect and the perfect tribute to its creator, Ron Asheton.
This album is so good, it makes me wish they would stop their nostalgia act on tour and spend more time in the studio releasing new material. Apparently they still "have it" and creating a legacy of great albums like "Ready To Die" would be more valuable over the long-haul.
BUT (as is usually the case), the Japanese version features bonus tracks not easily available for western ears to hear. In this case, the tracks are: "Dying Breed" and "The Departed (instrumental version)". It too is available from Amazon, but of course, at a significantly higher price. Since this album is so short to begin with (34+ minutes), it could have easily incorporated these two extra tracks.