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Iggy Pop

Avenue B

Virgin

I've been biding my time, playing this thing over and over again, hoping to make a connection to the lounge music ramblings of a 50-year-old punk. Finally, some internal clock tolled and said "time's up, state your case and move on." OK -- this thing sucks. Iggy Pop looks at growing old, and like most people, finds it daunting and scary, and instead of raging against the dark night, as one might expect, he hunkers down with Medeski Martin and Wood and delivers monologues over wimpy elevator music. Whatever fire lit Pop's crawls in broken glass and the raw power of his work with the Stooges is nowhere in evidence here. Even the few loud moments -- a cover of "Shakin' All Over" and "Corruption" -- aren't enough, simply because they tease by reminding us of what the Ig is truly capable of-- in your face angry beauty, delivered in the sledgehammer style he helped invent. Dear Iggy: the world already has one Sting -- we don't need another. If this release wasn't so long in coming, and if his recent live shows didn't rock like nobody's business, then the record could be overlooked. As it stands, the Godfather of Punk has been cruelly replaced by the Prince of Pap.

--James Mann