Every Loser

Gold Tooth / Atlantic
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Frenzy
02. Strung Out Johnny
03. New Atlantis
04. Modern Day Rip Off
05. Morning Show
06. The News For Andy
07. Neo Punk
08. All The Way Down
10. My Animus Interlude
11. The Regency

The godfather of punk is alive and well. For 60 years Iggy Pop has unrelentingly crafted groundbreaking, shocking and unpredictable music, and that continues here on his 19th studio album.

Pop is back with a fierce new album, "Every Loser", which marks his first record on Andrew Watt's Gold Tooth Records (in partnership with Atlantic). The album is completely different from his 2019 release, the introspective "Free". While some themes on "Every Loser" are still personal, the record takes a stylistic turn, taking listeners back to Pop's primal, early proto-punk days with explosive, rage-fueled nuggets.

The album also features a range of big names, including GUNS N' ROSES' Duff McKagan, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' Chad Smith, PEARL JAM guitarist Stone Gossard, JANE'S ADDICTION'S Dave Navarro and Eric Avery and late FOO FIGHTERS drummer, Taylor Hawkins.

"Frenzy" was a choice track to kick off "Every Loser". Beginning with fuzzy guitars and exploding into a hard rock anthem, the song finds Pop singing brassy lyrics about fending off "pricks," "dicks" and "douchebags" and being caught in a "Frenzy". As crude as that sounds, the track has a fun, bouncy vibe that makes it almost upbeat in character. The song ends in what is really a musical "Frenzy", with guitars competing against drums and Pop's chaotic vocals blending into the sonics.

From there, the album kicks into "Strung Out Johnny", a no-frills song about life as a junky. In it, Pop sings about being sucked into addition and eventually having to pay in the darkest moment. The track has a forbidding, spine-chilling feel and arrangement.

Elsewhere, if you're looking for an all-out hard rock anthem, "Modern Day Rip Off" is it. With wild guitars and abrasive vocals, it's one of the heaviest songs on the set. The song is also very catchy, with an easy singalong chorus. "Neo Punk", just over 2-minutes, is another heavy number, with a straight-ahead punk and very vintage Iggy Pop feel.

Two album stand outs are "Comments" and the closing song, "The Regency". Both feature the aforementioned Hawkins and are two of the final songs he ever recorded. "Comments" features a slick bass intro before flowering into a beautiful punk ballad. Meanwhile, "The Regency" is the most stripped-down song here, featuring angelic background vocals, angry leads and '80s pop atmospheres.

There's something comforting about knowing that Iggy Pop is still hungry to create exciting music — and still an eternal adolescent. There are few frustrations on "Every Loser"; instead, Pop shows the range and breadth of the music he can create. The album is also free of trends, as Pop always has been. At 75, Pop is too mature to care about what others are doing, not that he ever did. It's freeing music that begs for a follow-up. New music from Iggy Pop in his 80s? Bring it on.

Author: Anne Erickson
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