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The first album back from the reanimated Stooges a few years ago, ‘The Weirdness’, didn’t really push my buttons at the time, since lots had happened in the years which have passed since ‘Raw Power’ (Incidentally, the press release makes a big deal about trumpeting that it’s their first album since ‘Raw Power’, presumably because it’s the first where they’re called ‘Iggy and the Stooges’ rather than ‘The Stooges’...what?) and, as you’d expect, the barely restrained violence which simmered through their first three albums has fizzled out. That’s not to say there’s nothing to replace it, though, and listening to ‘The Weirdness’ recently I was struck by how much better it was than I remembered. Mid-paced and toned down but still lots of rock’n’roll fun.
My first couple of listens to ‘Ready To Die’ indicate that it is once again a patchy affair (husky acoustic ballad ‘Unfriendly World’ might’ve been best saved for a B-side, it doesn’t really feel like it belongs on a Stooges album), but there’s more good than bad on here, largely giving the impression of a cross between the Stooges and Iggy’s later solo work. It works best when they’re in full-on rock mode like opener ‘Burn’ and the title track, and there are some times when they include brass with mixed results (the weirdly letchy ‘DD’s’ is a bit of a misstep but in ‘Sex And Money’ it gives it some welcome RFTC-esque punch). Much like Bowie’s recent effort, the material on this album varies from laugh-out-loud embarrassing to agelessly self-assured brilliance. Given the significance of the band to rock’n’roll as a whole it’s certainly worth checking out regardless of the occasional clanger.
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- Ready To Die by Iggy & The Stooges
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