Iggy & the Stooges: Ready to Die

Fat Possum Records

Ready to Die marks guitarist James Williamson's first record with the Stooges since their seminal 1973 album, Raw Power. When founding guitarist Ron Asheton died in 2009, Williamson returned, upping the ante on several numbers, sharpening the serrated edges of the title track and holding down a Stonesy riff on "Gun." The visceral rhythms propel the song like a sticky thumping people-mover, while Iggy is Iggy. His delivery is blunt and no-nonsense, but with some shimmy and mystery. Indeed, Pop indulges his moody inner Nick Cave on a couple of tunes, turning balladeer for the twangy folk number "Unfriendly World" and the sweet, hoarse meditation "The Departed." It's a mixed stylistic bag with many fine moments and a few lesser ones.(4 out of 5 stars)