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Iggy still has the lust for a great tune, and for breasts

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Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop may have appeared in adverts for cruise liners and car insurance over the past few years, but his reputation as an uncompromising punk somehow remains unsullied.

He has been upfront about his need to keep a roof over his head: Even iconic figures need to pay the bills, you know.

The Michigan man, who turned 66 on Sunday, has retained his sense of humour, too.

To promote this album – his first with The Stooges since 2007 – he has posted a YouTube clip in which he lampoons those signed to major labels and those, like him now, who have pitched up on an indie.

The big news for aficionados of the original proto-punks is the return of guitarist James Williamson, who abandoned music for the world of electronic engineering in the late 1970s.

He can still play a mean riff – especially on the abrasive Job, which features that trademark Iggy snarl and the sort of sloganeering lyrics that first marked him out from the pack at the tail end of the 1960s.

But Williamson's return does not mean another Raw Power – their emblematic milestone album released 40 years ago.

Instead, the uneven Ready to Die continues the more genre-skipping approach of their last album, The Weirdness, as well as Iggy's own eclectic career.

The best songs are those that are less full-on punk assault, more understated and introspective.

The genuinely touching The Departed is inspired by the death of old bandmate Ron Asheton in 2009, while the similarly acoustic Unfriendly World is clearly the product of one who has lived a life less ordinary.

There is no shortage of tracks that kick up an almighty racket including the aforementioned Job, the take-no-prisoners Gun and the salacious DD's.

Iggy Pop might be of pensionable age, but as the latter track shows, some men can retain that teenage obsession with breast size for the remainder of their lives.

KEY TRACKS The Departed; Gun

Irish Independent