Iggy Pop made a name for himself as a controversial figure in the music industry during the 60s and early 70s with his extreme on-stage performances that included rolling through glass, exposing himself, and stage diving — something he practically invented.
Fifty years later, the now 72-year-old veteran has seemingly chilled out. Much like his two previous albums — Preliminaries (2009) and Apres (2012) — Pop has once again traded distorted guitars for an atmospheric jazz ensemble on Free.
With his bellowed voice, Pop mutters the words, “I wanna be free” over an oceanic soundscape on the album’s opening title-track. This serves more as a statement, a precursor to an album that feels both polished and improvised.
Most songs are spoken-word poetry paired with a lost-in-space style of jazz and lyrical themes of romance, sex, and social commentary. A melancholic voice speaking from the depths of an aged mind still searching for inner-peace, Pop opens his soul to the listener and guides you into self-reflection.
Free is a unique and intelligent offering that further explores Pop’s quest for enlightenment.