Beat 'Em Up by Iggy Pop
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Iggy Pop is back in all his sneering glory. Having gotten the solemn reflections on aging, morality, and lost love of 1999's Avenue B
out of his system, this first postmillennial offering returns the Ig to the style of primordial days when he spat out such deconstructed tunes as "No Fun," and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Here he proudly works his fine-edged sarcasm and formidable (if often overlooked) songwriting skills. In "Mask," he snarls "You're wearing a mask / You look better that way" before collapsing in a comic rage in which he condemns everybody in Los Angeles for "licking ass or having it licked." Never is Iggy so artistically charged as when he has a nemesis, whether it be the "Weasels"--those villains of the music business who are "rewriting rock history," and possess "an office and a chair, nice butts, and silky hair"--or the "Jerk" who has the temerity to hit on his girlfriend. It's gratifying to see that Iggy has finally decided to wrest back his thorny crown from Stooges descendants such as Queens of the Stone Age
and the Melvins
and pulverize them with his wit, abandon, and sheer fearlessness. --Jaan Uhelszki