Monday, 21 May 2012

Iggy Pop: Apres

A new release by Iggy Pop, with his French influences front and centre of this collection of cover versions.

No surprise that it's gone to number three in the French charts on its week of release.

Last year also saw Iggy collaborate with Lulu Gainsbourg on the From Lulu to Gainsbourg album, performing the Serge Gainsbourg track Initials BB.

Speaking about the new release, Iggy commented: "All popular music forms of today get their strength from the beat. Rap, hip-hop, metal, pop, and rock producers will tell you that the beats they use imitate the human heartbeat and that is where the power lies.

The feeling of listening to any of these forms is always some variation on excitement, but before the birth of the blues there was another form of popular song, in which the timing comes from the human breath and the feelings are much more about emotion.

"These older ways of expression were known variously as bel canto, chanson, plainsong or just folk music. I've always loved this other feeling, one thmentioned before,at is intimate, sometimes a little sad, and does not try to beat me on the head.

"So I wanted to sing some of these songs myself, hoping to bring the feeling I felt as a listener to my listeners through my voice. Many of these songs are in French, probably because it is French culture which has most stubbornly resisted the mortal attacks of the Anglo-American music machine."

As I've mentioned before, Iggy's no stranger to French cuture. Despite his  iconic status as one of rock 'n' roll's wildest performers, there's always been a depth to his work that can often be overlooked given the power of his performances.

His previous solo album, Préliminaires, is unlikely to be viewed by many as one of his seminal releases, but those who dismiss it do so at the expense  of a very fine work.

That collection is influenced by the work of Michel Houellebecq, whose text provides the spoken word narrative for one track. The album is bookended by versions of Les Feuilles Mortes, sung in French. It sets the tone for a mature and poetic work, which rather than just an 'easy listening' Iggy has work that would stand up against much of his more familiar rock work.

The new album features songs by Brassens,  Serge Gainsbourg and Piaf as well as other more mellow numbers It's an album that he wanted to make without the restrictions of a record company, and I'm certain it's one that will add to his reputation as one of the most significant artists working in the music scene.

Order a copy of Iggy's new album here >

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