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The Stooges 

The Weirdness (Virgin)

The Weirdness is the first new studio album released by the Stooges in 34 years. Not surprisingly, there was considerable doubt as to whether the Detroit legends could pull off a new album. But rest assured: They have. The Weirdness manages to capture that distinctive Stooges swagger while still sounding appropriately evolved. Original members Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton (with help from Mike Watt of the Minutemen) manage to mix the loose, intoxicating thump of Fun House with all the shake appeal of Raw Power to create music that still sounds vintage — yet undeniably fresh. This is in large part due to the inclusion of production genius Steve Albini, who engineered impeccably clear drum and guitar sounds that work perfectly as the foundation for the Asheton brothers' dirty sonic fuzz. The lyrics are loaded with classic bored Iggyisms such as "I can't tell if I'm dead or having fun" and peppered with Pop's trademark yelps, hoots, wooos and praises of the female figure. On standout tracks such as the raucous "Mexican Guy" and "I'm Fried," listeners can feel the same guitar-fueled, gyrating stomp that keeps the Stooges so sexalicious all these years later.

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