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This is not an Iggy Pop album... this is The Stooges!
on 24 August 2008
Often times, when bands have a reunion, it's a dreary rehash of their old songs and almost 100% of the time, a live album. As a result, they always disappoint. Not this time. This is a good renunion album because there's new studio material contained within.
The presentation is simple, yet excellent... black on silver, utilizing their original logo and even the typeface employed on the first two Elektra records. And much to Iggy Pop's credit, it does not emphasize his presence here. This is not a solo effort, nor is it "Iggy and The Stooges" ...this is the genuine article. This is The Stooges. Writing credits are given to the three original members. Anything else would have merely been a vehicle for another Iggy Pop solo album.
Original bassist, Dave Alexander, passed away a long time ago, but here we have Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton, not to mention the truly pleasant surprise of Steve MacKay playing sax on four of the twelve tracks. Also, Mike Watt makes for an excellent bass guitar replacement. In other words, this is pretty much the same musicians who brought you Fun House nearly four decades ago.
From the instant the first track begins, "Trollin'" you know you are listening to The Stooges. And you never forget until the album is over. Slashing, savage and recognizable as The Stooges throughout. Highlights include the Andy MacKay tracks as they harken back to that unique "jazz" sound that only The Stooges could achieve with the very best song being the coda, "I'm Fried" ...reminding one of "L.A. Blues" (unfortunately, it ends all too quickly). There were four other tracks that do not appear here. One is on the Japanese import version, while all four are featured as Side 3 of a now out-of-print vinyl version. With room to spare on this CD, it is a shame that these extra songs were not provided here as 'bonus' tracks.
This is certainly not a "mature" work, bringing new musical ideas and clever words to the table, however, it is not the same compared to what has gone before. The greatest disappointment lies in the lyrics, which sound as if they were written in less than an hour's time. Perhaps if they stay together and write another album, it will progress from here. Hopefully, such will the case.