Iggy Pop

Release Date: June 2, 2009
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD



Matt Rowe


Every great songwriter has their dark classic turns that identify them perhaps more than their mainstream releases do.  For Lou Reed, it is Berlin.  For Leonard Cohen, it's a late entry with Ten New Songs.  With Iggy Pop, it is his newest album, Préliminaires.  At no time in Iggy Pop's long and wonderful career has he approached a style so bohemian, dark, and experimentally explorative as he does here.  And this will be an Iggy Pop classic.  Simply put, it is a brilliant achievement.

Préliminaires begins with a distinct Cohen-like piece, “Les Feuilles Moértes” that is melodically spoken in French, soon delivering a mournful club-like sax on a bed of rhythmic percussion.  It is followed by “I Want to Go to The Beach” that reminds of the unmatched “Ennui” by Lou Reed on his somewhat similar album, Sally Can't Dance.  It is a lonely piano composition with an even lonelier subject matter that speaks volumes, a not to be missed magnificent tune.  The playful “Je Sais Que Tu Sais” is a simple but excellent track reprised later towards the end of the album.  There is a spoken tale (with music) that recounts the death of a loved dog, and a reincarnation of sorts, tied into a philosophical poetry of love, all delivered in a Tex Ritter-like western fashion “A Machine for Loving.”  The album is closed by the same Cohen-like/Lynch favoured jazz club French language tune that opens it (“Les Feuilles Mortes (Marc’s Theme)”).

Jazz plays a part in the make up of Préliminaires but does not dominate it in any way.  At times cabaret, and at times mournful, and at others, sporting a rockier sound, the songs that make up this album are some of the best of Iggy Pop's career. 

And while the similarities exist as pertains to previously mentioned classics, Iggy Pop's Préliminaires is uniquely his own classic work.  To say that Iggy Pop has crafted an album that completely emulates past classics would be to discount this work of genius.  This is all Iggy Pop.  Having said this, if you do not like Cohen's work, nor can tolerate Lou Reed's Berlin (once classified as a terrible and depressing album but now praised as a masterwork), then you should not investigate this album.  But if you love any of those mentioned, you will be united with a classic masterwork in Préliminaires.









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