Thursday, April 25, 2013
Iggy and the Stooges - " Ready to Die"
Even as strange as it for me that Mike Watt from the Minutemen/firehose is in the band I'm willing to forget the Weirdness album ever happened and accept this as part of the bands legacy just two songs in. Strangely the production on this sounds more like Iggy's solo album the Idiot , it still has a classic Stooges feel. May Ron Ashton rest in peace but James Williamson played all the guitar parts on Raw Power, which most consider to be the bands most classic work
It's opens almost where I would think the most logical point to bridge Raw Power with Instinct would be, "Burn" really blows me away as its every thing I could have wanted from the Stooges in 2013. The way Iggy's voice is blended in the mix really does it favors similar to the production on "Night Clubbing" . Williamson's guitar has the needed grit to take them back to the glory days.
There is a very Stomes swagger to "Sex and Money" but Pop's vocals never stray into Jagger territory , he has no desire to be Tina Turner and stays in his normal lurching baritone. His voice needs to gets props as it sounds timeless, the timbre similar to "Blah Blah Blah" and truth be told with his solo work I dropped off after "Naughty Little Doggie" but from what I heard he was veering into more of spoken word. well he is singing here and sounds great, he's never been a Robert Plant but oozes personality.
The opening yeah of "Job" cements it as a Stooges song. I can say the lyrics aren't as metaphoric or poetic as their earlier work, but it's the only flaw I can find so far and it's largely forgivable and on their most authentic moments a mute point. The jazz like Chaos to some of Williamson's lead help recapture the feel.
Another difference I notice from their earlier work is how restrained...or mature Pop's delivery is when you set it against the original albums when he was howling with drugged maddness. So on "Gun" it feels like a more punk version of "We didn't Start the fire" in lyrical tone, though Williamson's guitar comes to the rescue more often than not.
There are moments where it seems like a song is from one of Pop's solo albums rather than a Stooges album. Like the strummed guitar on "Unfriendly World" , which isn't a bad song, I like Iggy's delivery and the bluesy guitar. It should it be on a Stooges album?
The more metallic sound that belongs here returns with very seventies resonance to the way the guitar rings out. Though it does come closer to hard rock rather than the early punk sound of the Stooges. The solo almost has an Ace Frehley feel to it, though the Stooges did flirt with that period of glam during Raw Power, so the Detroit Rock City limits are wide open.
This vibe continues although has almost more of a Alice Cooper vibe to this ode to big tits of "DDs". Immsurprised mammeries would mystify Pop at this phase of his life, but oh well. The drums are verbs straight forward and I'm surprised how much Watt is playing with on something like this.
"Dirty Deal" has a grainy rock shuffle to it. Pop colors in the lines here,where in the past he would have blurted out his vocal take around what was going with more grunts, moans and whelp. Which I think the missing component in his delivery on something like this is their is less of an animalistic quality to his preformance.the strummed guitar returns on " Beat that Guy" his vocals take on more of the solo "Lust for Life" type croon which I think captures where he is at more closely than trying to recapture an explosiveness , when he's matured out from his primal nature. If this song was on a solo album I would like it so I have to accept it just like I accepted Candywas where he was at on Brick by Brick and for what it was in its own right was a good song. There's really rock god solo tagged onto the second half which balances out this more Tom Petty direction.
The Stooges song the blue continues on "The Departed" and while I love Nick Cave , I'm tired of hearing this Pop doing his Nick Cave when the Birthday Party would do who sets of Stooges covers, Iggy in his post Stooges days has always had a thing for old school country music, so it's bleeding over onto this album. I think his delivery shows his voices age on the more delicate attempts to deliever and think it sounds much stronger on someon the albums previous tracks.
Overall I'll give this album an 8.5 as this is the Stooges we are talking about and some of the bluesier moments should have been held back for Iggy's solo album rather than trying to marry the two. Though their are some moments which are produced or delivered vocally in manner that recalls his first two Iggy albums but of course they are classics as well so I'm fine with that, but the bar is raised pretty high. Iggy might still want to be your dog but he is clealy house trained so a little less dangerous.