A times I felt like I was listening to a Queens Of The Stone Age (‘Break Into Your Heart’) record. Then Arctic Monkeys (‘Chocolate Drops’). All of the sudden, is this Bowie (‘Sunday’)? And then back to Iggy (‘Paraguay’).
Of course this is an Iggy Pop record. Maybe even Pop’s final record. What Josh Homme has been able to bring out of Pop on Post Pop Depression* is nothing short of exceptional. There are so many twists and turns on this record, Pop’s many influences bleeding through each song that if this is truly IT for Iggy, he’s going out as a master.
Pop has eluded that Post Pop Depression is his final album and tour. No where is that more evident than on “American Valhalla’, which also happens to be my favourite song on the album. When the album first came out, I began scouring the web for the meaning of ‘Valhalla’. According to Wikipedia,
'In Norse mythology, Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll "hall of the slain") is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those who die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja's field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök.'
Lyrically the song finds Pop looking for answers on what’s next and almost pleading to be brought into his own Valhalla. I imagine Pop’s Valhalla to already have Bowie as one of its top residents. As I was writing this review, a podcast was published, “Song Exploder”. The podcast talks with Bowie and Homme on the creation of Valhalla, originally titled “Shitty Demo”. In the podcast Homme talks about the vulnerability in the lyrics of the song and how hard these lyrics hit him. Pop talks about the character in ‘American Valhalla’, the same character that rides through the entire album, as a veteran over 40. You can’t help but feel Pop is looking inward constantly during Post Pop Depression and looks to himself as the inspirational muse for this character.
On the final song ‘Paraguay’ Pop sings"
“I'm goin' where sore losers go
To hide my face and spend my dough
Though it's a dream, it's not a lie
And I won't stop to say goodbye”
It sounds like Pop is completely content with everything he’s done up to this point and instead of big farewell, he’s fine to just leave.
Pop’s final lyrics on what appears to be Pop’s swansong album are a moving goodbye,
“And I'm gonna go heal myself now
Essential tracks: Break Into Your Heart, Gardenia, American Valhalla, Sunday, Chocolate Drops
✓ Inclusion in Best of 2016 Playlist
*Post Pop Depression is
Iggy Pop — vocals, acoustic guitar
Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age)— vocals, guitar, bass, piano, synthesizers, mellotron, production, percussion
Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) — guitar, piano, synthesizers, bass guitar