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Gobbets of bile and hard-bitten wisdom: Iggy Pop’s Every Loser reviewed

The delightful contrarian sprays profanities about with abandon on his latest album

Grade: A–

James Newell Osterberg Jnr’s unexpected and unwarranted longevity on this planet has conferred upon him the status of irascible, but very loveable, grandfather of punk: it suits him just fine. A delightful contrarian in a profession otherwise staffed by vapid, guileless, liberals – Iggy actually meant it when he sang ‘I’m a Conservative’ – Iggy now sprays the profanities around with abandon while delivering gobbets of bile and occasionally hard-bitten wisdom in the direction of yoof. Which, given Iggy is now 75, means pretty much everyone.

This album veers between the addled late-1970s pop rock of The Idiot and Lust for Life and the scabrous metal raunch of his earlier incarnation with the Stooges. Supersessionist and producer Andrew Watt provides the guitar histrionics.

It’s probably his best set of songs since the mid-1980s. On the Kiss-ish ‘Frenzy’, he wants you to know that he is in ‘a frenzy, you stone douchebag’. ‘My mind is on fire when I oughta retire,’ he announces. ‘Strung Out Johnny’ is basically a suggestion that heroin may not be wholly beneficial, while ‘Neo-Punk’ is a wonderfully vindictive assault on the new crop of young supposed
rock rebels.

‘Comments’, meanwhile, is a sneering observation on the Boomers tapping their lives away on Facebook. ‘Looking at those comments all night… every loser needs a bit of joy.’ His fury reaches apoplexy on ‘The Regency’, where he assails… well, to be honest, I’m not sure. ‘I saw a nose job/ I saw a con job/ I saw a heart throb/ With a small knob’. Everybody, perhaps. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

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