2013 release, the first studio album to bear the name 'Iggy & The Stooges' since Raw Power was released in 1973! Ready To Die finds Iggy Pop, guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott "Rock Action" Asheton reunited for a full album of all-new material with Mike Watt filling in for the late Ron Asheton on bass. The results are the closest thing to a time capsule to 1973 - or at least to Iggy's subsequent efforts with Williamson, including 1977's Kill City and 1979's New Values - that rock 'n' roll is likely to proffer in this millennium. The new album's opening one-two of 'Burn' and 'Sex & Money' pair sublimely blunt and self-explanatory subject matter with back alley razor-blade guitars and a troglodytic rhythmic stomp as intensely single-minded as Iggy's lyrical statements of intent. Elsewhere on the album, anthems abound in the form of the most dead-on rallying cry for the lower-working-class dispossessed to date--the succinctly and aptly titled 'Job' - as well as a title track that mixes a signature Iggy Pop mission statement of angry desperation with guitar pyrotechnics that recall those halcyon opening salvos of 'Search & Destroy'.
Iggy & The Stooges
IGGY POP & THE STOOGES READY TO DIE
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ready to Die offers enough great songs to earn five stars, despite the one clunker. "Job," "Gun," "Burn," and the title track are blistering, concise, and sardonic, with more humor and grit than any of us have a right to expect. If you doubt their power, check out the recent live NYC performance video posted on NPR. Iggy and the Stooges start the set with these songs, and they hold up admirably to the classic material. My admiration for this album has a lot to do with James Williamson's guitar. I'm in awe of his riffs and tone, which are creative, natural and expressive. Also, listening to the studio album you might assume you're hearing dense layers of guitar overdubbing, but watch the live performance and you'll see that Williamson is creating most of those "layers" in one pass. I've read a bunch of other reviews of Ready to Die, and the music critics' ambivalence about Mr. Pop still comes through, but they can't have it both ways: They can't say the new material doesn't hold up to...
This is, in any universe other than our own, a six star record. Iggy is amazing. Nobody can condense the human condition into a couple-measure couplet like he can: "I'm on file/with a reptile." Well, that pretty much covers our security state, doesn't it? No need for a gaseous position paper. You can glean wisdom like that throughout the whole record, and DD, while it is very, very funny, also has some smart shots at what we perceive as feminine beauty and, oh, this is sounding academic. Just listen to it.
This doesn't replicate the Stooges of a generation ago, and it shouldn't. They aren't the same performers and we aren't the same listeners. (And the other writer is correct; critics of this never liked the Stooges in the first place. They were writing glowing reviews of "Muskrat Love" for its "poetry" or some such.) What this Stooge production does have is the intelligence. This stuff has often been imitated, but never successfully copied, the mix of great...
The last Stooges recording, with the dearly departed Ron Asheton at the helm, rocked off the scales. I always thought"The Weirdness" was Asheton's version of Raw Power, since he was relegated to Bass on that record. This while a new guitar hero named James Williamson got the glory. Any Stooges fan who doesn't get the inherent humor of "The Weirdness", with it's great snapshots of the real world(Greedy Awful People, My Idea of Fun)can now rejoice. They now have the album they've been waiting for. This is "Kill City" for the new mellenium or where "New Values" left off so many years ago. The fact that it really doesn't sound like a Stooges album is beside the point. I can understand this coming out as The Stooges though, instead of Iggy Pop and James Williamson, because the name has certainly become popular to a new generation of skate punks (who are direct descendents of the original CBGB punks). Amazing stuff then that a rock band who were way ahead of their time are finally getting...
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