Zany and knowing world of pop
Paul Montag | Minneapolis, MN | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Iggy Pop is a pretty (street) smart cookie and he's got the spirit of rock n' roll in him. On the cd pamphlet it says that Iggy played some guitar on this album, yet I wonder how often he was handling any of the instruments. It's almost like I hope he wasn't playing guitar too much because with the lyrics he writes and the way he sings, I have an easy and enjoyable time viewing him as an interesting and thinking performing singer. And the instruments could be getting in the way of his singing and performing.
Plus, I've seen pictures of him from when he was a young performer and he's got his back twisted to be almost parallel with his legs and his head is practically touching the ground. It's a very animalistic, free spirited stance and any concern about which strings to pick on a guitar could damage his interests in such bizarre, intriguing ways of staging his act.
And his act I would desperately love to see, and a lot of listens to Brick by Brick whips that opinion into concrete shape.
This cd may be too cleanly produced, a bit too slick, for die-hard fans of the Stooges. You can hear all the instruments very succintly without having to strain your ears, which is about opposite of the almost too raw sound of Raw Power (which is really good, but strong chances are that if you're listening to Brick by Brick then you've heard Raw Power before).
Iggy's singing comes across in a way in which it's no wonder the guy who's singing goes by a name like 'Iggy,' kind of unusual but very interesting and impressive.
Brick by Brick includes some really funny stuff. The most overt example is track 11, a funny tune about girls in which the heavy metal and comicly dark sound goes perfectly well with the subject he's going over. It's like, whoever wrote a song like this, with these types of lyrics going with this type of instrumentation, has got to know what's going on in the world.
Iggy's knowing-ness keeps up when he sings about having it all as like being in jail in Undefeated. Later, somewhere else, he mentions the only ones truly alive on earth are kids. There are numerous other insights that are sung in such fun ways that you don't feel like someone is hitting you over the head with important social messages but is instead inspiring you to think in the midst of having such a good time listening to such spirited, fun music.
With all that said, there are some songs on here that fans of the Stooges may find as a bit wimpy, but that notion should be set aside anytime you have Iggy singing to them. His voice, style and the overall way he comes across, even if he was singing a song to the soundtrack of the Little Mermaid, is always far from wimpy.
Also, there really aren't any songs on this cd that stand out tremendously as potential hit-makers, and that could be one reason why it's easy to think of all these tunes compiling so well together to make a great overall album. The songs, each distinctive, compliment each other really well and the production is really strong, and as implied earlier, perhaps too strong for fans of the performing singer who brought such raucous, silly, sloppy and unforgettable determination to the studio earlier in his career.