The Stooges – The Weirdness (2007): Review

stooges

Label – Virgin

To be frank, surely no one had high expectations for a return to the former glories of their heyday as one of the most innovative garage bands? Without David Bowie, riotous, carnal shows, a brush with the commercial charts, monumental drug use, and flashing his cock at regular intervals; what would be left to complete Iggy Pop’s legacy over a 30 plus year career? His solo career has been less than consistent, milked only by the die hard fans of Iggy the original punk idol, the charismatic “bad boy” of rock. The resurfacing of the original line up wasn’t a surprise as various members of the band had contributed to Pop’s solo work, most recently on 2003s “Skull Ring”. So what of the new and improved Stooges? A reminder with songs that rivaled classics like “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “1969” or “Down On The Street”? Although “The Weirdness” contains much of the band’s original authentic sound of previous recordings, there’s hardly a cut on the album one could consider worthy enough to be added to much of their back catalogue.

stooges1

With the return of the Asheton brothers, the addition of Minuteman Mike Watt on bass and legendary producer Steve Albini at the helm, there is at least some of the feral musicality and raw honesty about the record. The performance at times sounds like a band trading on their past, and sadly, there’s a tragic dereliction of memorable songs. In addition, Iggy’s voice is starting to show the inevitable strains of time, and his trademark snarl is reduced to a wizened croak which highlight some of the most banal lyrics ever committed to record. Granted, Iggy has never been one of the great wordsmiths, but the adolescent references to his sexual prowess, reckless violence (“My idea of fun, is killing everyone”) and whorish, money grabbing girls are almost comedic in their absurdity. “Trollin” and “She Took My Money” are passable reminders of the glory years, but the rest is an arduous trek through creaking sentimentalism and unconvincing edginess.

The Stooges had nothing to prove on this collection, and in conclusion “The Weirdness” is mission accomplished. It’s the last word in shallow nostalgia.

4/10

Track Listing
A1 Trollin’ 3:06
A2 You Can’t Have Friends 2:22
A3 A.T.M 3:15
A4 My Idea Of Fun 3:17
A5 The Weirdness 3:45
A6 Free & Freaky 2:39
B1 Greedy Awful People 2:07
B2 She Took My Money 3:48
B3 The End Of Christianity 4:19
B4 Mexican Guy 3:29
B5 Passing Cloud 4:04
B6 I’m Fried 3:44

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