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on 7 May 2013
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.
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Back. Six years after the underwhelming "The Weirdness", Iggy & The Stooges return for the first record with "Raw Power" guitarist James Williamson in forty years. After Ron Asheton's premature death four years ago, you could rightly consider that perhaps The Stooges had reached the end of the line. Here, Williamson and Iggy - with Stooge-of-a-decade Mike Watt on bass - return with a record that sounds it's been made by 16 years old, not sixtysomething elder statesmen of rock.

"Ready To Die" isn't exactly tasteful - with half of the original 1969-1971 lineup dead, and permanent drummer Scott Asheton incapacitated from touring due to a stroke - The Stooges aren't exactly a band so much as a team of furious rock commandos, bludgeoning huge riffs across the world. Williamson seems to have packed forty years of riffs into thirty four short minutes and 10 blistering songs. The cover is Iggy wearing a bomb belt in crosshairs. The songs are immaculately presented, with can opener riffs that are largely instant classics, pounding drums, and vocals that are miles away from the dunderheaded and melodically slight "Weirdness" record. Here, it's obviously not the first thing Iggy thought in front of the microphone, immortalised forever - thank God. Whilst its not as good as "Raw Power" (what is?), it's the equal of the firey and angry "Kill City" - with both "The Unfriendly World" and "The Departed", being the kind of blues that you saw glimpses of in the past. Also, this record is angry : "Job" rides on a simple premise many of us can live with : "I've got a job, and it pays ....". A few minutes later, Iggy is telling us all about ambition, about a world that wants to crush us, and about fighting to be yourself. Williamson's riffs crunch and roar away as he exercises the kind of chops that make it clear to me that his retirement from music for thirty years was a waste of an amazing talent. Nobody makes riffs quite like this.

Whilst forty years is a long time, you wouldn't know this wasn't made by a band half their age. Set in the clear world of vinyl, at a total length of 34 minutes (17 per side), the lasvicuous two sided album is a rip roaring rampage of riffs, raw power, and an ageless integrity that sees Iggy & The Stooges grow old disgracefully : the best way to be.
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on 28 May 2013
My own view is that rather like 'the Weirdness' the last Stooges studio album, Iggy Pop has again not done justice to the Stooges legacy with the lyrics served up on most of the upbeat songs on the album, many of which are furnished by excellent riffs.

To me his lyrics are lazy and could have been on any of a number of his more recent sub standard solo albums. e.g. Beat em Up, Naughty Little Doggie etc The music served up by the band, welcoming back legendary guitarist James Williamson from the Raw Power days, deserves so much better. (The music is worth five stars and it is the lyrics which result in me very reluctantly docking two stars).

Iggy seems to have dashed off most of the lyrics which rarely speak with any intelligence,which we know that he has, as off stage he is well read, intelligent company. Instead he again follows on from his live image which has him pandering to the worst elements of the heavy metal festival crowd by acting as if he is still a brainless 20 something who feels he has to compete with younger bands who swear every second word when making their song introductions. He is still relying on shock value in adding unnecessary four letter profanities to a number of the high tempo songs on the new album which add nothing, but ensure that they will not get wider radio exposure which a lot of the music deserves. After all how much swearing is on Raw Power? By pandering to the lowest common denominator he falls far short of the lyrical excellence of songs from the Stooges hey day e.g. 1969, Dirt, Raw Power, Search and Destroy etc. In fact some of the best tracks on the new album are the slow ballards.

Its time to make a great, mature Stooges album thatwill stand the test of time and sadly this is not it. There will not be too many opportunities to make a further mark on musical history like the original 3 albums and especially Raw Power. Iggy must now stop pretending he is still 21, he needs to keep his shirt on and write considered, intelligent lyrics to match the maturity shown by his fellow musicians (James Williamson and Scott Ashton and Mike Watt) and finally come up with an elder stateman album that does justice to getting James Williamson out of retirement. (who must on first hearing the lyrics wondered why he bothered).

Its time to step up to the plate lyrically and write that final masterpiece that all Stooges fans have been waiting for all these years and to also treat us with the respect we deserve. Iggy needs to stop underestimating the intelligencee of his core audience and deliver or retire in disgrace. Currently its not so much growing old disgracefully as pathetically and I am speaking as a fan who has followed him for 40 years and seen him live countless times.
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on 26 October 2013
Somewhere in the mush of the mix there's some rocking music trying to be heard on this album - the band feels tight, and the re-introduction of Williamson has invigorated the writing (musically), riffs and soloing just as you'd have hoped. But the mix needs more depth, space, bass and (of course) less compression ... essentially, some 'whomp'. Then we come to Iggy's vocals, which sound at best strained, if impassioned; and his lyrics, which needed more time spent on them. With a little more effort on his part, and control over the final product, this could have been a great album. Still, it is at least delivers way more than The Weirdness, and also tops Iggy's last solo(-ish) rock album, Skull Ring. Put another way, it's Iggy's best rockout since Beat 'Em Up (2001).
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on 1 July 2013
It's worth the money for the last two tracks alone. James Williamson proves what a great guitarist he is and Iggy continues to sing about things that are important to him now, not fifty years ago. That's why Iggy is such an important artist. He chronicles his life so honestly and there's absolutely no pretence or playing to the gallery. Their tribute to Ron Asheton is beautifully understated but is also so warm and heartfelt. You have to admire these guys. This level of honesty after so many years makes us desk jockeys look downright pale.
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on 16 May 2014
Input form the original Stooges makes this a real return to form, still delivering the goods with style and comtent after this many years( I dont want to ventre an amount!), hopefully there wil be more! Though it will get harder as there are less and less of them!
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on 20 June 2013
The man's still spitting vitriol in all directions, just bear in mind the lyrics are "parental advisory".

But great great music, James Williamson has lost none of his power in all his years away. Worth listening to this album just for the guitar work alone.

The inevitable comparison is with Raw Power, think of it as a follow-up to that with all the energy and rawness plus experience and knowledge of everything that's come since. Strangely I thought of Nirvana a couple of times when first listening to this.

In short, highly recommended.
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on 27 August 2013
This is probably one of Iggy's best albums since the early 90's but it is not a patch on Raw Power which is the version of the Stooges that Iggy is currently touting. He would have been better leaving that legacy alone and using the Iggy Pop name instead, although it does beat the appalling The Weirdness which signalled the original Stooges return in 2007.
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on 16 July 2013
Same as ever. Riffs and awful lyrics. Eg a song about big boobs.
But you either love or hate the formula.
He's showing signs of age I fear! He's 66. Some songs suggest he's mellowing.
Still a role model for all seniors!
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on 24 June 2013
I am a massive fan of Iggy and really wanted to like it but unfortunately it is a pretty lame effort.
I would recommend that people look up his original albums which are classic and a number of his solo albums as well.
However I would avoid this ...... although I suppose at least it is not in French ....
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