Much of The Idiot is far catchier to a mainstream appeal than Pop’s work with The Stooges ever could be, opening the drowning landscape with “Sister Midnight” creates a shadowed figure that lurks through the record. A large portion of The Idiot has this presence of after-hours parties that drag into the void of simple writing turned into protopunk anthems. With a funky bass line that is more reminiscent of seedy New York jazz clubs than any Michigan origins that Pop holds. His screams however are still present, but instead, opt to be more approachable and in tune to invoke feelings of fulfillment rather than empty vessels of despair.
On the following track, “Nightclubbing” is a heartbeat away from a heroin overdose with these soaring synths and a simple, but shifting percussive shuffle. The authentic piano keys that then create the melody are contrasts from the low pitched Pop who delivers a muffled, but consistent narration. On The Idiot, Pop stands more as a figure for dancing with glassy eyes than crowd surfing over bloody bottles, this is a new generation of Pop that on the touch is subtle and mature for the majority of the record.
The guitar that Pop has featured on “Dum Dum Boys” is a strong, but warped piece that shines brightly as a gleaming gloss that cuts alongside his voice. With low tuned percussion, the influence of Bowie is all over this record as Low was being recorded around the same time. So “Dum Dum Boys” is Pop’s closest shout into the mirror as he then drunkenly stumbles throughout The Idiot as a martyr for himself.
Pop who was the wild animal on stage and punk rock idealist was able to tone himself into a refined corner that while still vicious at times, was dangerous in other ways. He no longer posed a threat to just the crowd but was a reborn idol for creating and withstanding his own hand.