Monday, January 12, 2004

It wasn't just me who thought, while watching Iggy Pop's 2001 tour for Beat 'em Up, that he should get a better backing band, one that matched his magnetic stage presence and wasn't just a generic substitute for the Stooges. Iggy must have reach the same conclusion because the surviving original Stooges have reunited for several tracks on Skull Ring, his latest album. The CD opens with "Electric Chair," where Iggy and the Stooges come up with a song Iggy still might be performing in another five years, which unfortunately can't be said for many of his recent solo albums.

The rest of the albums tracks have varying success. Green Day continue their atonement for Dookie's fake British accents with their support on "Supermarket," carving their own distinctive sound while letting Iggy shine in his innate Iggy-ness. One "Private Hell," Green Day resurrect the staccato propulsion of "The Passenger." The same can't be said of Sum 41, who, on "Little Know It All" not only are generic in their own right but bury Iggy's baritone to the point that it isn't obviously him singing. With "Rock Show," co-vocalist Peaches continues to prove that she is utterly devoid of music ability and her only talent is shock value. When Iggy goes solo and acoustic on "Til Wrong Feels Right," he comes up with something that would fit onto the O Brother soundtrack except for being about the sorry state of radio and containing a profusion of obscenities.

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