June 4, 2009

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Iggy Pop, Preliminaires
Astralwerks Records, June 2

How bitchin’, yet vaguely creepy, to have this reptilian, cooler-than-freon guy with a voice lower than Lindsay Lohan’s dating standards suddenly appear in your room/car and begin speak-singing in French — it’s like your 90-year-old granddad just, you know, appeared at your bedside and he’s possessed by Maurice Chevalier, not caring if he messes up the words or if you even get it. And that’s just the beginning (“Les Feuilles Mortes”) of this latest mind-rogering by That Fellow Who Invented The Stage-Dive; who used to barf on the audience; who was swan-diving into broken glass before a momentary, frightened outburst of slam-dancing was a glint in your daddy’s eye.

French legend Françoise Hardy duets here, of course — um, I mean WTF — amid a sea of crooning that finds the odd filthy word tossed in as casually as you’d use the word “the,” but this isn’t completely a George Burns-haunted freak-out leveled at — oh, who the cripes knows who’d want this record, aside from anyone who’s ever enjoyed music. Comes complete with typical garage-Iggy (“Nice to be Dead”), as well as a “Scary Monsters”-style interlude (“Party Time,” starring the lyric “I smell slime/the stupid people”) and a chill-techno moment or three. A+Eric W. Saeger