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Iggy Pop

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 15, 1999


Iggy Pop is getting old. Many people worry about the wrinkles, memory loss and other bodily dysfunctions that occur with advanced years, but not Iggy Pop. In fact, Iggy Pop's aging is the sole reason for the morbidly depressing, brutally honest and ultimately beautiful new album, Avenue B. The fact that Iggy is now over 50 years old seems to have driven him close to insanity. In his attempts to come to terms with his old age and his need to examine his own mortality, Iggy takes a spiritual journey that results in a reflection of his thought processes surrounding his life.

The first track on the album, "No S**t," sets the precedent for the remainder of the album. "There wasn't a hell of a lot of time left," Iggy speaks in a somber, mellow tone, "as I considered the circumstances of my death...I didn't want to take any more s**t. Not from anybody." Iggy certainly doesn't hold back or take any s**t, and the result is a very honest portrait of a desperate man reviewing both the mistakes and accomplishments of years gone by too soon.

On the album's title track, Iggy sings "I'm a product of the paranoia of the age I'm in." You could say that again. Avenue B is riddled with apprehensive, dismal reflections of a past wounded by fame, death, corruption, infidelity and divorce. In his quest to understand his imminent demise, Iggy is compelled to reflect upon his past.

The somber, gloomy Avenue B is a change, obviously from the glam rock sound of the 70's that characterized Iggy Pop's previous musical stylings. In fact, the new album at times sounds more like a coffee house beatnik's poetry backed by slow, mellow jazzy tones rather than a rock legend's new effort. Regardless, Iggy is a great storyteller who keeps his thoughts honest and appealing.

"I'm getting tired of so many things...I guess I'm just plain tired," Iggy sings on the pop tune "Facade." Well, he may be getting a little older and a little more tired, but Iggy Pop has created a very sincere, straightforward look into his own life inquiry. - Barry McGuire

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