Iggy Pop, Lust For Life

Rachael Maddux

By Rachael Maddux

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

Lust For Life

Iggy Pop
A proto-punk touchstone

The years leading up to the release of Lust for Life, Iggy Pop's second solo record, were hardly excellent; they were pocked with repeated patterns of drug abuse and the implosion of the Stooges and a series of failed recoveries. So it makes sense that Pop and collaborator/patron David Bowie, who was battling addictions of his own, would attempt a clean slate, sequestering themselves in Berlin to write and record (in just eight days) what would become Pop's second album and, eventually, a proto-punk touchstone. It makes sense, too, that the nine tracks that came out of that blitz feel both scaldingly present and eerily detached, surrounded by demons both spiritual and chemical but somehow not consumed by them. Pop pines for women and grapples for transcendence; riding an avalanche of wiry guitars pushed forth by a walloping rhythm section, dirty spectres roll in from the distance — Johnny Yen, with his liquor and drugs; the passenger who rides and he rides and sees things from under glass — but never quite arrive. Even the title track's now-famous bass line is more restless than reckless, a fugue of the gnawing thoughts of a body caught somewhere between addiction and whatever might lie beyond it.