Essential New Music: Iggy Pop’s “Post Pop Depression”


Josh Homme claims the thing that broke up his first band, Kyuss, was hearing Iggy Pop and David Bowie make their forlorn blend of quietly jarring, moodily electronic rock and loin-straddling punk at the start of Bowie’s Berlin period. “I was listening to Lust For Life and The Idiot … traveling on tour with a very successful band,” Homme told the New York Times. “I thought, ‘That said what I wanted to say and I couldn’t say it better.’ So I quit.”

The muted, wounded Idiot and its raucous brother, Lust—with Bowie’s Low and “Heroes”, all miraculously from 1977—constitute the theoretical penultimate start point for 2016’s collaboration between Pop and Homme. Both were looking for a psychic balm of sorts when they came to Post Pop Depression: Pop losing his Stooges’ brethren to age and past ravages, Homme his Eagles Of Death Metal tragedy in Paris. In that spirit, Post Pop Depression comes across like a third Pop partnership with Bowie (listen to Homme’s Queens Of The Stone Age’s Rated R; tell me it isn’t Aladdin Sane for the 21st century), only more brutal and more elegiacally touched by the shadows of the smiles in Pop’s memory. “I have no plans/I have no debts/But mine is not/The carefree set,” goes Pop’s battered bass-enhanced words on “American Valhalla.” When a spark sets to flame—as during “In The Lobby” with Pop’s talk of “It’s all about the dancing kids/It’s all about the sex”—Pop douses it hard: “And it’s all about done.”

Musically, Pop, Homme and Co. welcome the sultry swirl of “Break Into Your Heart,” the slithery synth glom of “Gardenia” and the stabby guitars of “Sunday” into their heart of darkness with a smear of light. But remember, Pop is the guy with a heart full of napalm. Homme just pushes him into his last battle.

—A.D. Amorosi