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The Weirdness by Iggy and the Stooges (Virgin)

The Ig Meister here reconvenes his former sidekicks the Asheton brothers, Ron (guitar) and Scott (drums), plus ex-Minutemen bassist Mike Watt (replacing deceased original member Dave Alexander), to release the first new Stooges album in thirty-four years. Worth waiting for? Not really.

I love Iggy Pop solo, and I love the original Stooges, and have seen several of the reunion shows that led to this record. Long resistant to the idea of getting back together, when it did happen Iggy wasn’t interested in preserving The Stooges in aspic by just playing the standards, but wanted them to be a working band, doing new material. But what’s striking is how a band still more than capable of cutting the mustard live, albeit with songs written back in the day, have come up with such a limp collection.

 

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Steve Albini’s production foregrounds the drums, and Scott brews up a storm. Ron’s characteristic wah-wah guitar is solid if workmanlike. Surprisingly, the chief culprit here would appear to be Iggy himself. The songs are only so-so, some of them downright dumb – and not the studiedly ironic dumb of ‘1969’ or ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, just plain dumb. Plus, for someone in such great voice on his last solo effort, 2003’s Skull Ring, here his pipes sound unbelievably weak. One can only conclude that generous Iggy, already financially secure himself, was conceding to providing for the rather less flush Ashetons’ pension funds. But it’ll be interesting to hear how his own next album measures up.

While never one to worry overly about posterity, and how a misfire can potentially damage a great band’s legacy, this offering must rank as a major disappointment for long time fans, particular in comparison with other recent reunion platters, like the New York Dolls’ cracking Some Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This. Rock critics wouldn’t like this at all predicts the Ig on ‘Trollin’’; and, ya know, he’s right.


First published in Magill, May 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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