14 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The convoluted and always-interesting career of Iggy Pop took a turn for the better with the release of New Values in 1979. With his tormented years with the Stooges and his pair of studio collaborations with David Bowie behind him, he was ready to fully claim his mantle as a punk rock avatar. He shows his young imitators how it’s done on cheerfully nihilistic numbers like “Billy Is a Runaway,” “Tell Me a Story,” and New Values’ title track, declaiming his perverse pronouncements with glee. Playing off his self-destructive reputation, he wrestles with pint-sized lust in “Five Foot One” and battles ennui to a draw in “I’m Bored.” Taking on his crooner persona, he revels in the damaged balladry of “Angel” and “How Do Ya Fix a Broken Part.” Pop is ably supported by the likes of ex-Stooges Scott Thurston and James Williamson, who veer from unleashing crunchy riffs to laying down sultry soul grooves. With the exception of the borderline-racist “African Man,” every number here is worth commendation. New Values marks a high point in the Ig’s erratic career, bristling with well-focused nervous energy and strategic bad taste.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The convoluted and always-interesting career of Iggy Pop took a turn for the better with the release of New Values in 1979. With his tormented years with the Stooges and his pair of studio collaborations with David Bowie behind him, he was ready to fully claim his mantle as a punk rock avatar. He shows his young imitators how it’s done on cheerfully nihilistic numbers like “Billy Is a Runaway,” “Tell Me a Story,” and New Values’ title track, declaiming his perverse pronouncements with glee. Playing off his self-destructive reputation, he wrestles with pint-sized lust in “Five Foot One” and battles ennui to a draw in “I’m Bored.” Taking on his crooner persona, he revels in the damaged balladry of “Angel” and “How Do Ya Fix a Broken Part.” Pop is ably supported by the likes of ex-Stooges Scott Thurston and James Williamson, who veer from unleashing crunchy riffs to laying down sultry soul grooves. With the exception of the borderline-racist “African Man,” every number here is worth commendation. New Values marks a high point in the Ig’s erratic career, bristling with well-focused nervous energy and strategic bad taste.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

teutsch ,

awsome

best iggy pop album. definitley a good buy

Merge Wizard ,

wait & great

I bought this record some time ago and, noticing a certain lack of the poisonous thunder that characterized the Stooges records, I shelved it. I brought it out later to see if I wanted to sell it and I was surprised with this album's angular guitar work and super tight rhythm section. There are peaks of brilliance on this record, like "I'm Bored," which sounds like it could be the first song Iggy wrote after he quit heroin. "New Values" and "Five Foot One" are as strong as anything Iggy's written. It's different than The Idiot because of its super-tight rock band, no doubt borrowing sounds from other minimal new wave acts of the time. After a few listens, those sharp cyclical guitar riffs will stick in your head. Iggy's sharp as a tack at moments. This clarity is actually kind of refreshing after the swaggering dark Stooges sludge that attracted me to him in the first place. Some dumb sappy pop songs here; I find "...Broken Part" and "Tell Me a Story" to be a bit nauseating. This album will grow on you, though. If you dream, as I often do, that Iggy Pop once performed a legendary killer jam session with Television as his backing band, buy this album because it sounds like a cheap approximation of that sound. Just do yourself a favor and skip "African Man." It sounds like Iggy had nasty relapse.

kw85233 ,

Excellent

Another excellent Iggy Pop album. Another pivotal moment in my life.

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