Gardenia by Iggy Pop on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

2021 Song Draft- Round 1 Pick 5- Msjadeli selects-‘Gardinia’- Iggy Pop.

MSJADELI’s blog can be found at – https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/131408541

Round 1 Pick 5 MSJADELI selects- “Gardenia,” from Post Pop Depression, by Iggy Pop (2016)

[Post Pop Depression ]discuss[es] issues of what happens when your utility is at an end, and dealing with your legacy. – Iggy Pop

Hello everyone. It is a real honor and pleasure to be invited to Hans’ song draft. Being a person who likes patterns and order, I was trying to figure out how to choose the songs – and finally gave up. It’s a no-pressure draft, so why not just choose what I love to hear, regardless of where it falls in musical history chronologically, by genre, artist, political significance, etc.

Now that you know where I’m coming from on it, I present my first choice. From what I read inwikipedia, the origin story of the album from which, “Gardenia,” comes from starts where Iggy contacts Josh with ideas that stemmed from the time Iggy worked with David Bowie.

I first became aware of Iggy Pop, Josh Homme, Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age,) and Matt Helder’s (Arctic Monkeys,) Post Pop Depression at J’s Wax Ecstatic blog. See J’s post here. https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/179493050/posts/2995 I was hooked after reading the review and listening to the samples, then bought the album. You know how it is when a sound clicks into place and you need to listen again and again? The whole album was like that for me which meant it stayed on the platter for several weeks. You also know how certain tracks will jump out at you from an album, and that jumping track can change over time.“Gardenia” remains at the top of the heap for me with “Paraguay” a close second or maybe tied.

What is it about, “Gardenia”? Let’s start with the sound. The wah-wah intro in duet withdissonant guitar notes, the throbbing heartbeat of the bass, and the minimal-though-pointed tap of the drums set the tone. Even though the title suggests that of a flower or a female, the notes proclaim that this is no ordinary love song. Iggy’s yearnful searching voice gives the feel of a junky looking for their next fix. Homme’s haunting falsetto is like a shadow following the searcher. The bridge has ambulance urgency to it as all is revealed. Iggy’s self-punishing tone in the last verse is surprisingly more brutal and honest than the rest of the song which is not an easy feat to accomplish.

The lyrics are as brilliant as the music.

The singer is searching for the object of his darkest desires when he usually finds her, out walking the streets in the seedy part of town

.“Black goddess in a shabby raincoat Cheap purple baby-doll dressA gardenia in your hair”

.If that doesn’t conjure an image in your mind, your brain cells are fizzled.

As if that wasn’t enough

,“Much taller and stronger than me Your hourglass ass And your powerful back Your slant devil eyes And the ditch on your spine”

What kind of woman is this Gardenia?

The searcher recalls a time with his lady of dark passion, describing the big reveal when the lights were turned on afterwards. The reveal is ambiguous. Is it a matter of gender? A matter of habit? Maybe both? It never says, which is one of the most brilliant parts of the lyrics.

He (are we even sure it is a he?) doesn’t find Gardenia that night. Instead, he goes back to his “cheapo motel by the highway to hell” and in my mind I imagine him staring at himself in the mirror as he berates himself.The regret is palpable as he cries out with such resignation

‘You could be burned at the stake For all your mistakes,”

Couldn’t we all. This is perhaps the most telling line in the song.

One other thing I love about how Iggy sings this is when he tacks repeats onto some of the lines.

Is this song really about Gardenia at all?

It’s a musical and poetic masterpiece in my opinion. Songwriting credits go to Iggy Pop and Josh Homme, as far as I know. (The print on the CD is so light in areas I can’t read it.) Josh Homme produced the album. It was nominated for a Grammy in 2016 but lost out to David Bowie’s Dark Star.

One more thing I MUST say about the song: it’s a full-blown serious earworm!

Image link from wikipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e1/Post_Pop_Depression_%28Front_Cover%29.pngyoutube: https://youtu.be/1m8TmlS20ZA


  1. A surprise pick- just didn’t see you selecting Iggy- a great pick though… and Iggy of course a Michigander. He should be the poet laureate of the state.

  2. Pingback: Hanspostcard’s Song Draft — Round 1 Pick 5 “Gardenia,” from Post Pop Depression, by Iggy Pop (2016) – Tao Talk·

  3. Ya can’t go wrong with Iggy Lisa! Great sound he had with the guitar intro…very catching song.

  4. New song to me, but he was at his lyrical best on it! I thought same as Hans – appropriate you picked a Michigan artist to get you going.

  5. “I’m only five foot one and I’m doin’ the things that five foot one man can do….” Love Iggy. What he doesn’t have in stature, he has in voice…and songwriting. I like this song even though I’ve never heard it, before. My fave Iggy song is Hideaway. He was badass in Deep Space Nine.

  6. This one is new to me and I like it. I need to explore more of Iggy’s work. Your description of the song is great. On first listen I heard a cool song, and then you pointed out much more to hear.

    • Graham, I encourage you to find a way to listen to it as it’s an exceptionally good album. Iggy and Josh Homme (from Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures) make a good combination.

  7. I’ve never heard this song before, and probably shocking to everyone in this group, have never really gotten much into Iggy Pop. That’s not to say I don’t like him, just that I haven’t listened to much of his music. This is a good song though, and your write-up is terrific.

    • Jeff, I haven’t really gotten into Iggy that much either, but this album is more than just Iggy, it’s Josh Homme, who is a very talented musician. I don’t know that much about the other 2 guys, but Josh got it going on. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the song and my write-up.

  8. Great choice Lisa! I’m with Diana above – after reading your description, listening to the song was a much fuller experience! Interesting that you said that Iggy came to this album with ideas having worked Bowie – to me his voice sounds very much like Bowie’s on this song.

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