Vinyl of the Week: Post Pop Depression by Iggy Pop

The Godfather of punk looks back at his legacy on his eighteenth album.

Iggy Pop is an original. Whether it was his time as frontman of the Stooges, his glam period while hanging with David Bowie, or all of his solo records throughout the years, there’s only one Iggy Pop. After a career spanning almost 50 years, Pop started to look at his career and felt something was missing.

He wanted to prove he could still reinvent himself and create something that would put a cherry on top of his legacy. So, how could Iggy Pop, at almost 70 and boasting a career that spans 50 years, do something different? By calling up Josh Homme and asking for his help in creating this reinvention.

The pair met in the desert where Homme is known to do some of his best work and recorded at the famous Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California. Along with Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) the foursome recorded an album that may have slipped through the cracks last year.

I’m hoping that one day, Post Pop Depression finds the audience it deserves. That’s why it’s my Vinyl of the Week.

Photo Credit: Loma Vista

When you’re someone like Iggy Pop, it can be a hard pill to swallow knowing your career is winding down while retirement looms off in the distance. You look back on your career and start to wonder what your legacy really is. Pop reached out to Josh Homme who invited him to Joshua Tree to contemplate this, and to reflect and record what would become Post Pop Depression in secret.

Both Pop and Homme had been in a depressive zone, as Homme was dealing with the Paris shootings at the Bataclan where his band Eagles of Death Metal were playing, and Pop was reeling from the death of his dear friend and a man who helped save his career in the mid-70s, David Bowie. Post Pop Depression is just as its name describes; an album of reflection and mourning.

Opening track Break Into Your Heart has Pop crooning to what sounds like one of Homme’s Desert Session tracks. It’s a great mix of styles, and Pop fits in well among his bandmates here.

Photo Credit: The Independent

Gardenia is one of the album's true highlights. One thing I love is that Homme’s original band, Kyuss, have an amazing song with the same name. For Pop, Gardenia is a throwback to the sound he gave us in the 70s when he worked with Bowie during the “Berlin” years. The whole song is highly sexual, but if you know Iggy Pop, you know that’s par for the course. 

American Valhalla has that familiar Homme desert stoner rock beat underlying Pop’s vocals. The song has Pop looking at his mortality with lyrics like, “Death is the pill that’s hard to swallow.” Ending the song Iggy repeats, “I have nothing but my name.” This shows a man who’s truly reflecting on how his legacy will look once he’s gone.

Sunday is my favorite song on the album by far. The song feels like a perfect mix of the four band member’s styles. It’s got Josh Homme doing some kickass riffs, along with a great rhythm section being held down by Fertita and Helders. At six minutes in length, Sunday is the longest song on the album.

Although it doesn’t feel long, as you can really feel this one in your soul. At the end, the song transforms into what sounds like an orchestra playing as exit music. I’ve listened to this song alot and feel it ranks up there with some of Pop’s best work.

Photo Credit: FLOOD Magazine

Vulture is a crazy, out there, acoustic number that I cannot even describe as its strangeness is its greatness. Vulture is followed by the signature guitar riff in Chocolate Drops, which sounds like a slowed down version of Another Brick In the Wall. This song is akin to a trippy dream, which makes sense coming from Pop and Homme.

Paraguay is one of those closing numbers that you talk about as an all-time great. It’s totally Iggy Pop and totally Josh Homme, mixing their styles better here than anywhere else on the album. It also features a strong theme, with Iggy talking about closing up shop for good and retiring.

The second half of the song turns and we get a version of Iggy Pop similar to how he was in The Stooges (at least lyrically). Winding down, this version of Iggy closes out what could be the last song of his career. Truly an amazing ending!

Photo Credit: Spin

Post Pop Depression is an album that needs to be heard. It closes out the legacy of a man who’s stayed relevant over the last 50 years. Pop has alluded to this being the end for him as far as recording. The Stooges are done and his solo career is about to follow. If this is the last we hear from Pop on record, then he went out like he came in—as a punk rock genius who was grizzly and defiant till the end.

For more vinyl, check out one of rock's latest acts who are bound for a big future in Royal Blood. For more on Josh Homme and all the great music he has given us over the years, learn why he is a Game Changer.