|Singer Iggy Pop.|
A lust for death and Iggy is jazzed
Iggy Pop Préliminaires
ESSENTIAL "I Want to Go to the Beach"
Iggy Pop experienced such pleasure reading Michel Houellebecq's 2005 novel, "The Possibility of an Island," he made a soundtrack to go with it. In fact the Stooges frontman was so transformed by the moody dystopian narrative (it's about sex, death, and the end of humankind) that he mostly kissed his guitars goodbye and flung himself into a percolating whorl of French crooning, acoustic blues, laid-back electronics, and - if not quite jazz - some seriously jazzy instrumentation.
The collection opens with a chill arrangement of the mid-century standard "Les Feuilles Mortes," spoken-sung in an American accent so obvious and gruff it flirts with satire. But the chuckles quickly fade, and despite a handful of half-baked moments (the disco throwaway "Party Time" and what sounds like a kitchen-table recording of a fragment called "He's Dead/She's Alive"), a musical persona begins to take shape.
Here's wiser, wearier Iggy, burrowing into the stately and strangely provocative confessional "I Want to Go to the Beach" and a hard-bitten New Orleans stomp, "King of the Dogs," songs that recall Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, respectively. Antonio Carlos Jobim's "How Insensitive" grows haunted in Pop's baritone clutches, as does a passage from the novel that the singer recites on "A Machine for Loving."
The familiar Iggy surfaces, more coiled now than explosive, on "Je Sais Que Tu Sais," "Nice to Be Dead," and "She's a Business," and the dark rocker is grippingly of a piece with the disillusioned crooner. For all its talk of death, this album feels like a rebirth. (Out tomorrow) JOAN ANDERMAN