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Avenue B
Format: Audio CDChange
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2010
Let's be frank, Iggy Pop blows a little hot and cold. For every successful, well executed classic he does a couple of water treading rockers. Thankfully this is one of the former varieties. The quality of this album is due in no small part to the laid back and effortless production of Don Was who also produced the very successful Brick by Brick album for Iggy. This time however the mood is predominantly low key, acoustic and introspective rather than the heavier electric sound of its predecessors. Iggy is in his thoughtful intellectual guise ruminating on his mortality and musing on the end of his relationship with his 'China Girl' Suchi Asano. This is Iggy's great break-up album, his 'Blood on the Tracks'.

The album is peppered by occasional spoken segues ('No S**t', 'Afraid to Get Close' and 'She Called Me Daddy') which pursue these themes. These are little more than tone poems but they complement the general mood of the other tracks well. 'Nazi Girlfriend' starts the first of a number of songs about the procession of radically different partners the newly liberated Iggy explores. 'Avenue B' sees Iggy in a melancholic mood and is sung as a lounge singer with some delicate bongos adding a retro feel to the production. 'Miss Argentina' is another portrait of a girlfriend, again produced in an understated way. That is not to say that the whole album is slow paced or mid-tempo, a cover of 'Shakin All Over', 'Corruption', and 'Facade' are all played as more typical angry rockers. However, it is the slower ballads that really show Iggy's song writing at its best and the touching 'Long Distance' and 'Motorcycle' are just brimming with longing, aching regret and great lyrics. Who else could get away with lines like "She's a f***ing Picasso in bed" in the middle of a tender love ballad?

However, is Iggy just showing us his usual two sides here: the sensitive poet and the aging wildman? Not quite, there are some exciting new directions here too. The best of these are the more experimental 'I felt the Luxury': a poem played to a jazzy backdrop and filled with blackly misogynistic humour such as the killer couplet: "But I'm an American from the mid-West, I can p**s on a grave while welcoming guests". 'Espanol' is also a wonderfully successful experiment mixing pidgin Spanish lyric with an irresistibly infectious backbeat.

So, all in all, this has to be regarded as a major Iggy record, even if it can only really be played in your more reflective moments. I'd certainly rank it among his top five, along with his similarly more accessible output such as Lust for Life, The Idiot, Blah, Blah, Blah and Brick by Brick.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 February 2012
Iggy Pop's 1999 album Avenue B provides a pleasantly surprising mix of subtle ditties and more typical Iggy fare. As Mr Osterberg neared his 50th year (in 1997, in fact), it is clear he was adopting a (slightly) more reflective stance on life - particularly following his recent, more heavy album releases Brick By Brick and American Caesar. Having raised hell for the best part of 30 years, Pop appeared to be feeling that he should start to adopt a somewhat more studied approach to his music - as he says in the rather maudlin voiceover to the album's opening song, 'It was in the winter of my 50th year ..... I became more bookish'. In fact, Avenue B contains, for me, Pop's most refreshing and inspiring set of songs since Lust For Life.

Despite the more reflective style, however, Avenue B contains its fair share of expletives (even having an album cover warning 'PARENTAL ADVISORY - EXPLICIT CONTENT' - bizarre!) and its quota of controversial titles, none more so than that of the brilliantly dark (and tongue-in-cheek) song Nazi Girlfriend. There is, however, an underlying theme of yearning for romance (and even family life) in many of the songs, perhaps reflecting the fact that Pop had recently remarried again. In this vein, Miss Argentina, Long Distance, She Called Me Daddy, Motorcycle and the title song are great examples of Pop at his most subtle, both musically and lyrically. All is not sweetness and light, however, and the other standout songs Corruption and Facade have a more typically heavy Pop sound to them (the latter appearing to refer to Pop's own increasing difficulty in maintaining a rock star image). He even manages to have a decent go at an up-tempo Spanish salsa, in the song Espanol, and also delivers a solid version of Johnny Kidd's Shakin' All Over.

Overall then, an interesting mix of styles, in what is an impressive collection of songs.
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on 29 May 2015
A very personal and sometimes sad account of Iggy's relationships with women. Love this CD.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2013
I was cautious about buying this one due to other reviewers comments, regarded as a bit of a dull or introspective album. It's no Raw Power, its lively in parts but it's the other side of Iggy that I like; I enjoy his crooning and spoken word efforts. Didn't disapoint and has been played regularly in the evenings. If the children are misbehaving I threaten them with the cover picture.....yuk!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2009
It's shameful there is only 1 review of this great iggy pop record,i'v got a few of his records and this rates as one of his most diverse and interesting offerings.Fantastically played with lots of space and depth by a bunch of great musicians.Bless ya iggy!
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2008
I'LL BE BRIEF . IGGY KNOCKS US DEAD WITH HIS THOUGHTS AND WONDERFUL SONGS . JUST LISTEN TO "MISS ARGENTINA" AND TELL ME A BETTER SLOW SONG ? OR HIS RENDITION OF "SHAKING ALL OVER" . IGGY YOU ROCK !
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