Not your average James Bond
There are very few artists who have such a distinctive voice that you can kind of tell them apart from any other singer out there within mere seconds. Such is the case with Mick Jagger. Or David Bowie. Or Lou Reed. Interestingly, these last two were very often seen together with the artist I actually want to talk about in this post: Iggy Pop. He too has an incredibly striking voice, one that immediately gives a different flavour and texture to anything you have him sing.
And this is what happens yet again with his latest single, “James Bond”, the first excerpt from his latest album, Free, still to be released. Only a couple of years after the critically and commercially acclaimed Post Pop Depression, the man is back, now aged 72 but still showing no signs of stopping. While Bowie and Reed are sadly gone and Jagger just got out of heart surgery (although he apparently is already back to his usual dancing self, because there is no way that man will die offstage). Way to carry the torch.
Now back to James Bond. Well, Iggy Pop, although one might be forgiven if they ever came to confuse them. A couple of interesting things about this hot new track from the rock legend:
It actually tells the story of a female James Bond, a very welcome take on the hyper macho hero spy, coming from a somewhat manly living music legend (incredibly, he wears a shirt in this video: truly on his best behaviour…). It’s always nice to hear about tough women, especially these days, even more so when one them is actually featured in the music video (PINS’ Faith Vern) and contributes back vocals to the chorus to help tell a fuller story.
That distinctive Pop voice is also distinctively changing: the same way the late great Johnny Cash recorded rather different, if incredibly powerful vocals towards the end of his life, Iggy Pop is now singing lower range, slower, sometimes almost spoken lyrics into the mic, giving “James Bond” a subtly melancholic feel that could already be felt in Post Pop Depression’s “Gardenia” back in 2016 (when he was only 69).
The end result is a nice subdued track that serves as a great reminder of how special Iggy Pop is. And how alone he now stands in the pantheon of (living) rock legends.