The Stooges

The Weirdness (Virgin)

On "Trollin'," The Weirdness' first cut, Iggy Pop declares, "Rock critics wouldn't like this at all," and if he's right, the Stooges' improbable comeback will collapse on the starting line. In the end, though, most reviewers are apt to view the disc as an honorable miss, not a flat-out disaster. There was never much chance that these guys could recapture the glory days, and these 12 serviceable but strangely self-conscious songs prove it. Granted, guitarist Ron Asheton and his drumming brother, Scott, come across as game, and ex-Minutemen bassist Mike Watt and producer Steve Albini are ideal recruits. But while "Greedy Awful People" and the rest are overtly primitive, they never seem on the verge of implosion, as does 1969's The Stooges. Moreover, Pop's vocals, which once had to fight for their place amid the instrumental maelstrom, are out front and prominent, thereby placing too much emphasis on lyrics that smack of forced nihilism ("My idea of fun/Is killing everyone") or metaphysical dumbness ("I saw Frank Zappa eat a lonely hot dog"). Take that, rock critics.

 
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