Music

ROCK

Iggy Pop smashes paradigm on ‘Post Pop Depression’

Becoming an elder statesman of any genre predicated on rebellion is a dicey proposition: Enshrined by institutions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and feted by best-of-all-time lists, one can easily rest on one’s laurels. Thankfully, the 17th solo album by punk-rock lifer Iggy Pop coolly smashes that paradigm; it’s a stark, sinewy affair that foregrounds the punk-rock lifer’s voice, a finely weathered instrument, all knowing vibrato and bemused sneering. Produced by Josh Homme, who in recent years has been honing rock to its essentials with Queens of the Stone Age, “Post Pop Depression” is all minor keys and stark imagery; guitar squeals grow like weeds from dusty ground on “In the Lobby,” while the stripped-down “Vulture” animates its chilling tale with bells and cello before ending with Pop’s weary moan. The album’s muscular, windswept peaks often coincide with those moments, like on the churningly wistful “Gardenia,” when Pop’s snarl mingles with Homme’s buried-in-the-mix croon, but that does little to detract from Pop’s assertion and continuation of his decades-long legacy.

MAURA JOHNSTON

ESSENTIAL “In the Lobby”

Iggy Pop performs at the Orpheum
Theatre April 11.

Maura Johnston can be reached at maura@maura.com.