Picks and Pans Review: Brick by Brick

updated 08/13/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/13/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Iggy Pop

While Guns n' Roses fans wait for their next album (due in early '91), the Igster offers up guest shots by two GNR members to keep appetites whetted for further destruction.

Slash and bassist Duff McKagan join Pop on the window-rattling cuts "Home" and "My Baby Wants to Rock and Roll." Enlisting part of rock's new elite is a paternalistic gesture for Pop, a pioneer of heavy metal before it became the monotonous din only groups as talented as GNR have risen above. (Slash sounds even more restless here than he does with his own band.)

Pop offsets his head-banging tendencies with the subtler contributions of multi-instrumentalist David Lindley and guitarist Waddy Wachtel. "Main Street Eyes" rails against mediocrity, with Lindley throwing in gentle violin and mandolin lines. Most noteworthy is the sturdy pop song "Candy," featuring B-52's singer Kate Pierson.

Pop peppers his lyrics with anatomical references that seem tame these days, but he makes trenchant observations too. On the grungy "Butt Town," an attack on Los Angeles living, Pop sings, "Any young black male who walks down the street/ Is gonna get stopped by a car full of meat/ But the girl with the hair/ Flies by in her underwear."

So what does it add up to? Pop can still crank it up with the best of them; he's still unpredictable. Iggy himself sums it up when he says, "I'm glad I am crazy, it keeps me trying." (Virgin)

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