Iggy Pop in my mind is a one of a kind storyteller. There’s a grit, depth, and spirit to his vocals that make his music addictive to the ear. That being said, his latest album “Free,” is unlike anything we’ve heard before. It’s experimental, all over the place, and incoherent at times. Although there’s echoes of the iconic vocals we’ve come to know scattered throughout the record, Iggy Pop has lost his once precise sense of direction.
The first track, to which the album owes its title is “Free.” The only lyric in this piece is “I want to be free,” repeated over again with notes of saxophone. It’s a simple, mellow tune which poses the thesis for the album in front of you. It almost sounds like a guided meditation led by Iggy Pop.
From here things start to go a little crazy. We stray from the thematic focus of freedom to subject matter such as political protest, psychedelics, and my personal favorite James Bond. “James Bond”, the third song on the record is an outlandish love song based on the idea that “she wants to be your James Bond.” It’s one of the strangest metaphors within an even stranger song. Iggy Pop chooses to sandwich this piece within an album with no given destination.
I do appreciate the call and repeat tactic which Iggy Pop takes on “Dirty Sanchez.” He uses his voice as both the leader of a riot and the protesters. It’s brings chaos to an otherwise quiet and commonplace record. I think that “Dirty Sanchez” is a good example of what “Free” could have been if Iggy Pop stuck to the plan which was proposed at the start of the album.
The last song on the album is “The Dawn.” On this track, Iggy Pop takes the art of storytelling to a whole new level. It mimics the guided meditation style present in the albums first song “Free.” His voice is deep, captivating, and slow moving as he leaves the listener with a final thought. “If all else fails, it’s good to smile in the dark.”