Review: Veteran Rocker Iggy Pop Unleashes Raw Power on ‘Every Loser’

Iggy Pop
Every Loser
(Atlantic/Gold Tooth)
4 out of 5 stars

Videos by American Songwriter

When you push play and immediately hear an instantly recognizable voice sing Got a dick and two balls, that’s more than you all / My mind will be sick if I suffer the pricks and I’m in a frenzy You f-cking prick I’m in a frenzy / You g-ddamn dick over crashing hard rock/punk guitars you can’t help but celebrate the return of one of rock and roll’s most irascible, unpredictable and iconic veterans.

For a few recent years, it seemed that Iggy Pop had disposed of the harder attack that brought him to prominence in his Iggy and the Stooges days, over fifty years ago, in favor of an artsy but still edgy sound. Even the collaboration in 2016 with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, which he hinted at the time might be his final project, leaned in a sedate direction.

But on Every Loser, producer/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Watt surrounds Pop, now 75, with a reputable bunch of talented backing rockers (bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer among them) famous for navigating their way around the riff-heavy crunch Pop does so well.

There are moments of the pensive, even graceful music Pop has come to embrace; specifically on the easy rolling melodic “Morning Show” (with darker lyrics of We cannot be happy, because I will not be happy), and the bar room bop that kicks off the piano-based “The News for Andy” before it upshifts into the riotous crushing hard rock of “Neo Punk” (My hair is blue, and my prescription too/I never have enough to do). The power chords of “All the Way Down,” led by Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, could have emerged from any of Pop’s older, raging albums, just as the typically twisted Pop lyrical concepts of This ain’t no free as a bird/I’m gonna blow up a turd. The late Taylor Hawkins, in one of his final studio recordings, makes an appearance playing drums and co-writing the thumping, tribal “Comments” which includes Iggy’s words of wisdom to the younger generation with The problem with life is that it stops / Hey you kids!

A few spoken word interludes delivered in Pop’s oily baritone from-hell voice, break up the action, and the closing “The Regency” with its repeated f-bombs ends the party by keeping the energy and attitude pumping.

Every Loser is commanding, powerful, and above all fun, proving that Pop has plenty of gas left in his aging tank. Let’s hope he takes a few more trips.   

Photo by Vincent Guignet / Nasty Little Man PR


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