Iggy & the Stooges, Ready to Die

Holly George-Warren

By Holly George-Warren

on 04.30.13 in Reviews
A genuine rebirth of a sneering, vital band, defiant as ever

Few albums are so misleadingly titled as Ready to Die. The first release in 40 years under the “Iggy & the Stooges” banner sounds nothing like resignation; its taut 10 songs — clocking in at an old-school 34 minutes — constitute a genuine rebirth of a sneering, vital band, defiant as ever. Iggy Pop’s voice retains its feral power on searing opener “Burn” and lower-middle class anthem “Job,” while his deep croon conveys poignancy on the woebegone closer “The Departed.” Not-so-secret weapon James Williamson, retired from his job at Sony, is back in the fold, replacing the late Ron Asheton, and reminding listeners how integral his gracefully primal guitar playing and hooky songwriting were to seminal 1973 Stooges classic Raw Power. Bassist Mike Watt’s muscular, supple lines propel everything forward, even flirting with Motown-y funk on hilarious horndog anthem “DD,” while original Stooge drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton keeps it all earthbound, but just barely.