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Cherry Pop

Title - 'The Weirdness' (Virgin)
Artist - The Stooges

Often times, when bands have a reunion, it's a dreary rehash of their old songs and almost 100% of the time, a live album. As a result, they always disappoint. Not this time. This is perhaps one of the best renunion albums ever and for a number of reasons.

For starters, the presentation is excellent... black on silver with simple graphics, utilizing their original logo and even the typeface employed on the first two Elektra records. And much to Iggy Pop's credit, it does not emphasize his presence here. This is not a solo effort, nor is it "Iggy and The Stooges" ...this is the genuine article. This is The Stooges. Writing credits are given to the three original members. Anything else would have merely been a vehicle for another Iggy Pop solo album.

Original bassist, Dave Alexander, passed away a long time ago, but here we have Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton, not to mention the truly pleasant surprise of Steve MacKay playing sax on four of the twelve tracks. In other words, this is pretty much the same musicians who brought you Fun House nearly four decades ago and it certainly sounds it.

From the instant the first track begins, "Trollin'" you know you are listening to The Stooges. And you never forget until the album is over. Slashing, savage and recognizable as The Stooges throughout. There is not bad track on the entire album. Certainly, "highlights" include the Andy MacKay tracks as they harken back to that unique "jazz" sound that only The Stooges could achieve with the very best song being the coda, "I'm Fried" ...reminding one of "L.A. Blues" (unfortunately, it ends all too quickly).

But again, and perhaps best of all, The Stooges actually wrote a new album full of new songs that are true to the original band. Some previous reviews had complaints regarding both the lyrics and music. I wonder what they were expecting? It certainly is not a "mature" work, bringing new musical ideas and clever words to the table, however, it is not the same compared to what has gone before. Perhaps if they stay together and write another album, it will progress from here, but will it still be The Stooges? Right now, this is simply what The Stooges sound like all these years later... new, yet familiar. Anything less (or more), and it would not have been a Stooges album.





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