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Preliminaires

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2009 album from the Alt-Rock/Punk legend. Iggy Pop takes on the language of romance and puts a decidedly French twist on Pr‚liminaires. Produced by longtime collaborator Hal Cragin, Pr‚liminaires highlights another facet of the Iggy Pop persona, focusing more on Jazz arrangements and the distinctive, rich baritone heard on classics like 'Nightclubbing' and his duet with French legend Fran‡oise Hardy on the song 'I'll Be Seeing You'. The album themes and texts have been inspired by Iggy's reading of controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq and his book The Possibility Of An Island. On the record, Iggy even sings one song in French, a cover of Jazz standard 'Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves)', a song widely associated with French legends Yves Montand and Edith Piaf. There are also more raucous moments like the Swamp Rock stylings of 'Nice To Be Dead'.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 2, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B0023HPI1E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,415 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Miller on June 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are expecting Skull Ring or The Stooges, don't buy this. And don't bitch about it either. If that's what you want to hear, just put those albums on and be happy there's so much of it. It's about time the world was treated to more of the "other side" of Iggy Pop... the part where he can write intelligent lyrics and back it up with strong musical content, albeit not hard rock.

Preliminaires was written, and in some cases, sung for the French, where Iggy has his biggest following. Pre-release hype claimed it be Iggy's first jazz album. Well, yes, there's Euro jazz here, but there's also plenty of rock and lots of acoustic work too. And perhaps most importantly, some of the most unusual lyrics ever recorded: premeditated, yet sounding completely spontaneous as the finished product.

No, this is not The Stooges or Skull Ring... this is utterly different material for Iggy Pop, closer to Avenue B than anything else, but still completely unique. Listen to the samples to get an idea. It will give you the gist, but remember, those are 30 second excerpts that do not give you the complete picture. Listening to the complete tracks in complete album form leaves you wanting for more in the future and wondering why a project as great as this was not done sooner.

It's very short; clocking in at 36 minutes with flimsy packaging. This is reflected in how inexpensive it is. But that does not deminish the overall impact of this most different of Iggy Pop releases, something I hope there will be more of in the future. Highly recommended to those who can appreciate ALL the talent that Iggy Pop has... this man is no one-trick-dog.
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Format: Audio CD
I was a big fan of Iggy and Lou Reed. I was also a fan of David Bowie. I could see why David sought out the lead singers of The Stooges, and The Velvet Underground, respectively, and revitalized their careers. I think that Iggy in particular had fallen on hard times, and was fading into obscurity. Bowie got him back in the game, and I think that the work they did together, in Berlin, is very interesting. Some of Iggy's best stuff. Around the time of Raw Power, The Idiot, and Lust for Life, I saw Iggy. Blondie was the opening act, but what really got the Halloween crowd in Berkeley excited was the keyboard player and back up singer. Smoking a cig and wearing a Pendelton shirt, it was unmistakeably Bowie, even though he was not announced or made much of a fuss over. Those in the know, in the audience, could tell that it was David Bowie, and that was cool, but we had come to see Iggy first and foremost.

Around this time I heard about a different side of Iggy. While in Berlin, he liked to go to piano bars and croon tunes like The Shadow of Your Smile. I love his rich baritone voice on his punk rock classics like I Wanna Be Your Dog and No Fun, but I have often wondered what he would sound like as a Frank Sinatra era crooner. This album kind of gives you a taste of that, but not so much Sinatra era, but post modern crooning. Also Dixieland bluesiness, as in King of The Dogs, Raw Blues in some other tunes, and Euro crooning, like he sings Autumn Leaves, originally in French, in French, and he does the sophisticated bossa nova tune How Insensitive. There is some spoken word stuff that comes off like a cool poem about how dogs love people no matter how ugly and unworthy they are of that love.

This album is a mature, sophisticated, jazzy sounding album.
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Format: Audio CD
For the first time since 1999's Avenue B. We see the mellow jazzy soul of Iggy Pop.

First off, for the record, I don't understand why critics universally put down Avenue B as a failure. I'm an Iggy fanatic, and even though Ave B is his least Iggy-like album, I personally loved it. He hooked with Medinski, Martin & Wood, and a bunch of other real musicians, and showed his senstive side. He didn't mention his [...] getting stuck deep inside anything even once. Everyone hated it, but I thought it was the best thing he's done since the 70s.

That is until Préliminaires came along. This album may even surpass the great Avenue B. But I have to listen a few more times to be certain.

Iggy employs some diverse ingedients on this album.

"King of the Dogs" is backed by some suprisingly authentic dixieland jazz. Satchmo shares a writing credit.

Iggy also tries his hand at bossanova and applies his trademark croon to Antonio Carlos Jobim's timeless chestnut "How Insensitive."

And just like Ave B had a searing cover of "Shaking All Over" for the rockers, Préliminaires includes "It's Nice To Be Dead" as it's sole asskicker.

I love the blues number "He's Dead She's Alive." The production is as rustic as some dusty old Blind Lemon Jefferson recording from the Mississippi delta. The acoustic guitar is so shrill and so raw--like my speakers somehow transformed into a shanty of rusty corregated iron. I don't know how that would actually sound, but imagine it would be real creaky.

The rest of the cuts are a bouillabaisse of French pop chanson old and new. Aromatic notes of Edith Piaf mingle with musty Air with an icy broth recalling both The Idiot and 80s Leonard Cohen. Mwah! C'est magnifique! It's a superb dish!
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