Picks and Pans Review: Instinct

updated 09/12/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Iggy Pop

Pop played it coy and commercial in 1986 with Blah, Blah, Blah, attracting a new, greener crop of fans with FM hits such as Wild One and Cry for Love. While this snarling set of primitive rock might startle some recent Pop converts, it will reassure his admirers of longer standing. This is Pop recalling his days leading the Stooges. (No, kids, not Curly, Larry and Moe; these Stooges were Iggy's band of the late '60s.) Iggy, born James Newell Osterberg, conjures up images of his youth in Ypsilanti, Mich., not far from Motor City. Cold Metal brings him back to his life as a nascent rocker: "I played tag in the auto graveyard/ I looked up at the radio tower.... Cold Metal in the afternoon/ Sounds lovely like a Hendrix tune." He recalls a time when conformity meant acceptance; he rejected it then, as he does now on Squarehead: "You can say, 'just do it, everyone is'/ You can tell me that it's just showbiz/ You can turn my life from green to red/ But I ain't going to be no squarehead." Ex—Sex Pistol Steve Jones whips up a nasty froth on lead guitar and gives the whole album a lean edge. The Iggster, now about 40, does have more mature, reflective moments, such as the title track, where he muses, "Standing on the borderline/ Between joy and reason/ Tending carefully my fire/ Waiting for my season." Mostly he's his old, proto-punk self. Long may he rave. (A&M)

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