Iggy Poppy: After more than three decades, the mainstream has caught up with The Stooges.

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Thirty-seven years ago, with little fanfare, Iggy Stooge blossomed into Iggy Pop. The name change simply appeared in the credits of Fun House, a record that marked the Michigan quartet’s abandonment of John Cale idiot avant-garde for semi-avant garage rock. As he approaches 60, Iggy’s journey from drug-addled savant to rock icon is complete, and his 21st-century Stooges aren’t really Stooges at all—they’re rock gods playing straight-up rock music. Like many reunion records, The Weirdness offers no surprises—enlisting anti-producer Steve Albini and punk legend Mike Watt to replace long-dead David Alexander on bass are no-brainers. But unlike many reunion records, the 12 new songs on the album sound like a logical extension of the Stooges’ storied catalog—if they break no ground, they build on the conventions the band created. Ron Asheton’s signature squeals of wah-wah guitar erupt on “You Can’t Have Friends.” Scott Asheton plays behind the beat on “Trollin’,” exploring the same caveman groove that made “Down on the Street” irresistible. Fun House session wizard Steve Mackay lends tasteful horn to a handful of tracks, proving that he’s still the only good rock saxophonist. And Iggy is still Iggy, singing about money, sex, money, and money, and somehow turning unintelligible, terrible lyrics, sung poorly, into sublime couplets. “My idea of fun/Is killing everyone,” he sings on “My Idea of Fun,” and times are tough in “Mexican Guy” (“I’ve got a crazy look in my eye/Since my girl ran off with a Mexican guy”). The Weirdness even sports a couple of good ballads: The melancholy “Passing Cloud” achieves the sexy moodiness of “Gimme Danger” and “The Passenger,” while the title track, a lilting torch song in 6/8 time, is poignant and heartfelt. Still, the Iggy on display here isn’t Iggy Stooge, the outsider heart of the band who pounded one shrill piano note through the entirety of “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” The Iggy on The Weirdness leads an outfit that knows the world has caught up with its aesthetic. Iggy Pop never quite made sense as a solo artist—when he sang duets with the B-52’s Kate Pierson or mumbled through “Real Wild Child,” he was a performance artist struggling to meet mainstream expectations. As a Stooge, he’s back in his element, working with fellow proto-punks who, quite unexpectedly, joined the mainstream. Forty years ago, during live performances, Iggy miked vacuum cleaners and called it music; “L.A. Blues,” Fun House’s defining moment, was a noxious mess, but it was an innovative noxious mess. One could long for these experimental Stooges of old, but why bother? What’s so weird and wonderful about The Weirdness isn’t that it’s good, but that it’s not very weird at all. At long last, it’s just pop music.