Though the Stooges were on the verge of breaking up at the time RAW POWER was recorded, it still comes across as (arguably) their most focused and powerful release. Former guitarist Ron Ashton was moved to bass and replaced by James Williamson, whose precise, razory playing makes RAW POWER the Stooges' most guitar-driven album. Scott Ashton drums up a storm, and Iggy yowls, yelps, drawls, and croons with a sense of menace that is both exhilarating and frightening. Though the album retains the reckless urgency and noise-happy chaos that defined FUN HOUSE, it strips away the swampy murk of that album with its trebly, metallic production. [paragraph here] The songs work sexy, primal grooves ("I Need Somebody"), hopped-up boogie ("Shake Appeal"), reworked, adrenaline-pumped early rock & roll (the title track), and creeping, whisper-fueled come-ons ("Penetration"). The album's two best tracks, the spastic, take-no-prisoners danger anthem "Search and Destroy, " and the minor key, Doors-influenced "Gimme Danger" bristle with energy and the kind of sleazy, libidinous glamour that keep the true heart of rock thudding furiously. Aptly named, RAW POWER was the Stooges' third and final album, putting the cap on their small but hugely influential discography. A rock essential.
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