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The Listening Room: Iggy Pop, Gwen Stefani, Jaheim, "Batman v Superman" and more
"Post Pop Depression"
If "Post Pop Depression" will be Iggy Pop's last musical word to us -- as the ??-year-old Ypsilanti-bred rock auteur and Stooges frontman has claimed -- he's going out swinging. He ends the nine-track set with "Parguay," half of which is a spoken-word rant about his disaffection with the modern world, declaring "I don't want any of this information" and voicing a desire to "go where sore losers to/To hide my face and spend my dough...I won't stop to say goodbye." It's a sharp-tongued parting shot, concluding a richly varied and mostly successful experiment recording with Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Home and Dean Fertita (a Royal Oak native who's also part of the Dead Weather) and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders. Reflective ("Sunday," "Chocolate Drops"), provocative ("American Valhalla"), sentimental ("German Days") and occasionally sinister ("Break Into Your Heart," "Vulture"), "Post Pop Depression" bathes Pop's dissertations in tough, taut dynamics that carefully orchestrated but never sound cluttered. Tracks such as "Gardenia" and "In The Lobby" nod the material David Bowie produced for Pop on "The Idiot" and "Lust For Life," thought he arty "German Days" gets a bit too cute with its sonic ambitions. But "Post Pop Depression" is, in the end, an uplifting affirmation of Pop's literate, punky preeminence, and a satisfying sign-off -- if that does prove to be the case.
New & Noteworthy:
Jaheim, "Struggle Love" (BMG): One of the R&B veteran's new tracks is called "Songs To Have Sex To." Need we say more?
Grant-Lee Phillips, "The Narrows" (Yep Roc): The former Grant Lee Buffalo mainstay recorded his latest solo set in Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach's Nashville studio.
Jordan Smith, "Something So Beautiful" (Republic): The debut outing from the winner of last year's ninth season of the world.
Gwen Stefani, "This is What The Truth Feels Like" (Interscope): You want the poop on her split from husband Gavin Rossdale? It's certainly in the grooves of some of these dozen tracks on her third solo album.
Underworld, "Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future" (Astralwerks): The British electronic duo's first new album in six years come after stints music directing the 2012 summer Olympics opening ceremony, scoring TV shows and films, and working on outside projects.
Hans Zimmer and Junie XL, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (WaterTower): An intriguing pairing as "Superman" regular Zimmer is joined by the Dutch electronic artist to create some other-worldly soundscapes for this superhero mash-up.
Also Out: Kris Allen, "Letting You In" (Dogbear); American Babies, "An Epic Battle Between Light and Dark" (Royal Potato); Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, "The Critics Give It 5 Stars" (Black River); Circus Maximus, "Havoc" (Frontiers); Brian Dunne, "Songs From the Hive" (self-released); Peter Hollens, "Misty Mountains: Songs Inspired by The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings" (Sony Masterworks); Hundred Handed, "...Like It`s Saturday" (self-released); James, "Girl at the End of the World" (BMG); King Crimson, "Live in Toronto -- November 20, 2015" (DGM); Primal Scream, "Chaosmosis" (Ignition); Reckless Love, "Invader" (AOR Heaven); The Roosevelts, "The Greatest Thing You'll ever Learn" (Tone Tree); Silk, "Quiet Storm" (Shanachie); Southern Family, "Southern Family" (New Elektra); Treatment, "Generation Me" (Frontiers); Anne Walsh, "Brand New" (A To Z)
From The Vaults: Lorri Morgan, "A Picture of Me -- Greatest Hits and More" (Goldenlane); Elvis Presley, "The RCA Albums Collection" (RCA/Legacy); Todd Rundgren, "Box O' Todd" (Purple Pyramid)
Soundtracks -- "Fiddler on the Roof (2016 Broadway Cast Recording)" (Broadway); Marco Beltrami, "Gods of Egypt" (Varese Sarabande)
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