More appropriately titled `Iggy & Friends', `Skull Ring' is riddled with many renowned artists of yesterday and today. After a good 30 years of dormancy, The Stooges return to kick out some mean stuff, and are surprisingly still rather good, The Trolls also make an appearance for a good 6 tracks and peculiar partnerships with Green Day and Peaches make the other meatier tracks. Even young kids Sum 41 somehow end up making noise with the scarred man himself. How? Who knows?
The most startling point of this release is the fact the guest appearances don't really seem to be guests - they influence the songs to such a degree, it's as if Pop is being given a big helping hand with the writing. The two Green Day collaborations titled `Private Hell' and `Supermarket' are great examples, as they could well be the leftovers from the albums `Nimrod' and `Insomniac'. So the release as a whole is multi-textured, but tracks are badly gelled as a result. Somehow, it's impossible to see The Stooges play songs that Peaches was on...
In the past, when he was left to his own devices, Iggy had made some disgusting stuff and it seems he still does when given half the chance. Somewhere along the line, old time blues has infected him, so the lone guitar, foot-tapping-floorboards blues song `Til Wrong Feels Right' has been created but will never, ever "feel right".
With more hooks than the tacky previous album `Beat `em Up', Iggy seems at home with the grittier guitar-based songs and is an improvement. There is enough here to be pleased with. It's definitely a trait of this legend to be terribly hit and miss, but when he does hit the target, it's fucking amazing.