Sound — 9
Iggy And The Stooges have done something a limited number of rock bands can ever hope to accomplish in a forty year musical career. Throughout the late '60s and early '70s, The Stooges dominantly took over the music scene with their signature form of rock and roll. Despite selling few copies of those three studio albums released during this time period, the band would go on to be named as one of the instrumental forces in the rise of punk and alternative rock genres. Although influential, the band received little to no attention back in their initial incarnation, and would go on to disband in '74.
It would take the band over three decades, but in 2004 The Stooges reformed, and three years later would become inspired to return into the studio to create their critically acclaimed comeback album, "The Weirdness". This newly reformed lineup featured the return of original members Scott and Ron Asheton, frontman Iggy Pop, and a more evolved, brash-sounding rock sound. As with any band who took a long hiatus, it's one thing to create a comeback album. It's completely another to follow it up, and now six years later The Stooges are doing exactly this, with their new studio album, "Ready To Die".
Throughout all 11 new compositions, The Stooges it seems are making a more conscious effort to create a purely nostalgic record, and you're first hit by this realization as soon as the first guitar chords to "Burn" reach your ears. Wah-wah pedal soaked electric guitar riffs are wildly racing about, as Iggy repetitively chants "Burn, Burn" throughout most of the song. From there, we have such similarly hard hitting tracks as "Sex And Money" and "Job", both of which showcase some creative guitar work. The use of vocal and instrument sound effects helps provide the entire album with that early '70s classic rock feel, and really helps give "Ready To Die" that final touch that drives it well over the edge, and should leave any established fan more than please with this latest outing.
Lyrics — 8
Throughout "Ready To Die", lead vocalist Iggy Pop mostly sticks to his lower register, that to be honest bears some strengthy similarities to that of David Bowie. When he does reach into his higher range, as he does towards the end of the album's opening track "Burn", there are very few details that separate these new songs from those off of The Stooges' earlier efforts. Either way, Iggy's singing style proves to be both a consistent and reliable factor, that leaves little room, if any, for complaints.
Overall Impression — 9
When it comes to this new album from Iggy and The Stooges, the band truly knocks it out of the park. While most 40 year old rock bands are out playing their classic hits live night after night, or creating easily forgettable covers albums, The Stooges are creating new music, and great music at that. For any fan of their earlier albums, or any classic rock fan in general, this is definitely an album to keep your eye out for, and will have you cranking the volume up to 10 in no time.