Home > News & Reviews > Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop - Free (Album Review)

Thursday, 12 September 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Harmony Korine

Iggy Pop is one of America’s greatest living rock artists—a stage performer whose visceral public persona is immediate and undeniable. However, that doesn’t always translate into recognisable hits...or even high quality music. Like his late contemporary Lou Reed, sometimes his songs seem deliberately shoddy so as to disappoint and frustrate his audience.

This is notable on ‘Free’, an album that doesn’t make it far past 30 minutes and which is rounded off by some slightly unconvincing spoken word numbers. The first is We Are The People, a 1970 poem by Reed, here accompanied by ambient jazz extemporisation courtesy of Noveller’s Sarah Lipstate and trumpet player Leron Thomas.

The words appear to have updated effortlessly for Trump’s America: “We are the people who have known only lies and desperation / We are the people without a country, a voice, or a mirror.” It is serviceably profound and yet it does not feel terribly new or challenging.

The same can be said for his interpretation of Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. There is no reason that Pop would know this—it probably wouldn’t make any difference if he did—but setting that poem to music is actually composition coursework on the British A-Level music syllabus. With this knowledge in hand, when you listen to the song, it's difficult to get away from the idea that there might actually be dozens of better interpretations knocking around on sixth form computers.

The troubling thing here is that there is a real air of finality to proceedings, and ‘Free’ should not be Iggy Pop’s final album. It’s just not good enough. Yes, his best late-era music has all come from named collaborations, with Underworld, Josh Homme, Death In Vegas and more, but this album is not fit to bookmark an astounding, gravity defying career. It’s disappointing and frustrating. Oh, wait.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

Iggy Pop Releases New Single Sonali From Upcoming Album 'Free'
Fri 30 Aug 2019
Iggy Pop has dropped another single from his forthcoming album.
Iggy Pop Unveils Music Video For New Single James Bond
Thu 15 Aug 2019
Photo: Harmony Korine Iggy Pop has shared the video for his latest single.
Iggy Pop Shares New Track James Bond
Tue 30 Jul 2019
Photo: Harmony Korine Iggy Pop has released a new track.
Green Day, Fall Out Boy And Weezer Announce UK And Ireland Stadium Shows For Hella Mega Tour
Tue 10 Sep 2019
Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer are to play four huge shows in the UK and Ireland in summer 2020.
Prophets Of Rage Criticise America's Gun Laws In New Single Pop Goes The Weapon
Fri 06 Sep 2019
Prophets Of Rage have shared a new single.
Bruce Springsteen Surprise Releases Live Album Of 1986 Bridge School Benefit Performance
Mon 12 Aug 2019
Bruce Springsteen has surprise released a new live album.
Against The Current Confirm December UK Shows Ahead Of Reading And Leeds Appearances
Fri 23 Aug 2019
Against The Current have announced UK tour dates for the winter.
The Darkness Share New Song Rock And Roll Deserves To Die From Upcoming Album 'Easter In Cancelled'
Tue 06 Aug 2019
The Darkness have shared a video for their new song.
< Prev   Next >