Iggy Pop – “Sunday” (Singles Going Steady)

Iggy Pop and Josh Homme deliver us a gift that we didn't even know we wanted, but the combination of these two seems obvious after hearing how incredible they sound together.

Jared Skinner: Iggy Pop and Josh Homme deliver us a gift that we didn’t even know we wanted, but the combination of these two seems obvious after hearing how incredible they sound together. Dropping the surprising news that they would release an album together, we have been given a taste for what is to come with a few singles in subsequent weeks and “Sunday” is the best one we’ve gotten so far. Homme’s steady, signature riffing casts a brilliant rhythm while Iggy Pop’s classic voice exudes David Bowie in this song, perhaps paying tribute to his late friend. This track is on the longer side but is never boring and features a beautiful instrumental outro. A truly fantastic track, that stands by itself as a tremendous piece of work, it urges us to start the countdown until the full album is released. [9/10]

Emmanuel Elone: “Sunday” is surprising. The first bit is reminiscent of Iggy Pop’s old discography, which is great. However, towards the end of the track, an orchestra breaks through and closes this album beautifully. Even after decades of classic albums, Iggy Pop still has a few impressive tricks up his sleeve. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: Iggy steps back a few decades to create something that sounds like it was whipped up in the East Village with the help of early Talking Heads, along with a heaping helping of Bowiesque flash. Like Fear of Music meets Scary Monsters. Normally I’d say that collaborating with Josh Homme seems to have recharged Iggy’s batteries, but he’s been alive and kicking as long as I can remember. The song seems to have a swagger that’s infectious without being pushy. When the song takes a sharp left turn at about the five-minute mark, it suddenly becomes a stately orchestral march that seems to have been delivered by Ennio Morricone on his way to his next spaghetti western. Damn, Osterberg. Are you really pushing 70? [8/10]

Pryor Stroud: The last sexagenarian-penned, avant-rock magnum opus was from Pop’s longtime friend, collaborator, and muse David Bowie, which means that Post Pop Depression will inevitably be juxtaposed against its predecessor’s to-the-moon-and-back ambition and scope. “Sunday”, interestingly, is Bowie-esque down to its histrionic vocals and churning, contemplative guitar passages. While these similarities are undeniable, Pop is still irrefutably himself: he’s been a rabid, frothing, chewing-through-his-muzzle animal on all fours since the Stooges’ seminal “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, and here he’s still a teeth-baring quadruped with no patience for chains, but he’s lost some of the spring-loaded power of his lunge. “The key to everything / I crawl for Sunday,” Pop wails, eyes pawing at the way ahead, “When I don’t have to move.” [8/10]

Steve Horowitz: I thought David Bowie was dead; wait, too soon — and if you don’t get the joke you properly won’t like the song’s dark humor. In some ways, Pop has been the ghost of Bowie for many years, and that’s a complement because Pop made it his own. His music is transparent, and he’s gloriously naked underneath. Maybe Morrisey was right, every day can be like Sunday, but that doesn’t really change things. [8/10]

Chad Miller: Features an excellent relationship between the vocal melody and the guitar part. Drums and guitar do a great job at keeping up the song’s momentum as well. [8/10]

Erin Stevenson: Crisp and loud, “Sunday”, from Iggy Pop’s upcoming Post Pop Depression, brought first to mind an era when Detroit was “Detroit Rock City” and disco fever was beginning to burn out in favor of New Wave. MTV hadn’t yet been launched, and guitar-friendly tunes still dominated classic rock airwaves. The late 1970s may have been close to 40 years ago by now, but rockers like Pop help keep the flame lit. “Sunday’s” arrangement and mixing are fantastic, so it’s very easy to hear each instrument. A-List clean, this sounds much more “upfront” and fresh then a standard analog recording, which could be an artifact of web-based compression. Hints of funk, fusion-infused disco, and a lot of classic rock permeate the fairly melodic tune.

The song starts with Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders’s groove on drums, which quickly set an irresistible, mid-tempo pace. Slippery, complex bass guitar (according to NME, played on this track by the Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita) punches through the mix, throwing in interesting textures and subtle changes. Guitar-wise, there’s no shyness about instrument choice or shrinking violet aspect to the tone; no attempt is made to turn this into contemporary, mass-media acceptable blandness. This music isn’t sterilized by conformity — it remains full of life. There’s just enough swagger and just enough sensibility. At one point, no fewer then three guitar layers expound their ideas. The last minute of the tune is vastly different and a true coda; the band switches gears from a rock to classical contemporary orchestral tangent in about a tenth of a second.

Pop’s vocals are clear, emotive, rich, and almost as theatrical as his former collaborator David Bowie’s were. Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme makes no attempt to overshadow Pop — the vocals remain Pop’s territory, with Homme contributing only background vocals during choruses. As a sort of epilogue, an uncredited female sings near the end. Pop’s lyrics are laden with metaphor and acrimony, but for the intense, long career and the life he’s led, no-one begrudges him a little bitterness now and then. The dominant, extroverted nature of the lyrics remains informed by both Pop’s past and by the creative infusion of fellow non-politically-correct, oft-acid-tongued collaborator Homme. Pop here yearns for Sunday, traditionally a day of rest — a break from his daily grind. This six minute song serves to remind listeners that this could be Pop’s farewell, and thus, “Sunday” (coupled to it’s sister tune “Paraguay”) could be his swansong, a capstone to an impressive oeuvre. [8/10]

Iggy Pop’s new album Post Pop Depression releases March 18th.

SCORE: 8.00