Whether it's the tongue-in-cheek humor of "King Of The Dogs," the longing of "I Want To Go To The Beach," or the sense of desolation he's able to convey on "Spanish Coast," you can't help but feel whatever it is he's trying to convey. On the latter, for instance, not only is the desolation of the scenery made clear, but so too is the desolation of the song's protagonist merely by how he modulates the tone of his voice. He uses his ability to sing on the lower end of the register to good advantage here, but it's not just a matter of singing low and sounding gloomy, as he's genuinely able to express the emptiness that lay at the heart of the song.
It's not often that pop musicians with long and established careers will take the chance of recording an album radically different from almost anything they've done prior. While there are songs on Preliminaires that one can identify with Iggy Pop's early career, the majority of the material on this album is completely unlike anything you've ever heard him do before. Even better, though, is that it's some of the best music he's yielded in ages. It's far more sophisticated than anything I've heard him do before either musically, emotionally, or intellectually. Yet, at the same time he retains the energy and power he's always been famous for. Only now he's narrowed his focus so that it's all channeled into the emotional content of the music, which makes the material all the more captivating. Preliminaires is the work of a mature artist who's not afraid to take chances and, as a result, this is one of the most rewarding albums released in North America this year to date.