Iggy Pop: Free review – enjoyably quixotic

(Loma Vista/Caroline)

The highlights of Iggy Pop’s solo career have generally come about when he’s been taken under the wing of a big-name collaborator, from Bowie in the 1970s to, more recently, Underworld and Josh Homme, who produced 2016’s Post Pop Depression, scoring Iggy his first UK top five album at the age of 68. True to quixotic form, Free doesn’t build on the success of that record, Iggy veering off at yet another tangent, courtesy of avant garde guitarist Noveller, aka Sarah Lipstate, and jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas.

Thomas’s mournful solos are foregrounded throughout, and Noveller’s contributions are subtle rather than showy, while Iggy intones instead of singing, recalling Johnny Cash’s American albums, which gives the likes of We Are the People and the title track a pleasingly meditative feel.

Rather less meditative is the dunderheaded call-and-response of Dirty Sanchez, which with lyrics as incisive as “Just because I like big tits/ Doesn’t mean I like big dicks” doesn’t really add to the sum of human knowledge. Still, there is much else to enjoy in this unpredictable set, from an impassioned reading of Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night to the gradual build of Glow in the Dark.

Listen to Sonali by Iggy Pop.


Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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