Rock icon Iggy Pop recently made an appearance at the 2021 virtual Tibet House Benefit, where he held a dramatic reading of Dylan Thomas‘ 1951 classic poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” This reading was also performed on the performer’s latest studio album Free, which came out in 2019.
This performance was directed by Simon Taylor, focusing solely on Iggy Pop’s face, with a special emphasis on his solemn facial expression and mournful blue eyes. Iggy Pop’s deep voice goes well with the cosmic jazz instrumental, as lonely horns and ambiance waltz together in a spacious wave of sound, capturing the poem’s sense of isolation.
Free was noted for its experimental sound, with a stream-of-conscious approach that sees numerous sounds coming together. In addition to spoken word accompanied by avant-garde jazz, the record features inflections of ’50s rock mixed with tango and new wave.
“The issues Free runs into lies with the way the album was created. Pop claims it just ‘sort of happened,’ and at times it does feel rushed. The ideas have potential, but they could have done with a little more time and development. Ultimately, Pop’s fans will enjoy it, but he hasn’t outdone himself on this one.”
Iggy Pop has been busy throughout the last few months, releasing the single “Dirty Little Virus,” which is a commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic. The performer also covered Elvis Costello’s “No Flag,” which was featured on Costello’s 2020 album Hey Clockface. Last year he teamed up with Bootsy Collins to cover Sly Stones’ “Family Affair.”