Blondie The Curse of BlondieBlondie The Curse of Blondie

Blondie: The Curse of Blondie

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The Curse of Blondie

Genre: New Wave
Year: 2004
Country: USA
Official Site: Blondie
Details: Tracks & Audio
Label: Sanctuary Records
Modern-era Blondie is largely unknown to me — I heard their late-1990s comeback album got universally panned — but if most of it is like The Curse of Blondie, it can't be that bad, right?

Yeah, there are some painful moments, especially in Blondie's rhyming rap opener, "Shakedown," and the experimentally out-of-tune "Desire Brings Me Back" (you may like it if you're into Los Lobos' later, noisier stuff).

But in 14 tracks, there's a decent helping of precise rockers and good pop dance tunes. "Good Boys" and "Undone," are as catchy as anything Kylie Minogue's putting out (not that that's saying much for detractors of cheesy dance-pop).

As with most bands of veteran musicians, Blondie's rockers now are tighter and more melodic than the work of the current kids. It's the same sort of thing that happened to Sting after The Police dissolved and he got older: He learned more, he got a little better, he lost a lot of his youthful anger, and he started wanting to hear music that was universally pleasant to listen to.

That's what's happened with Deborah Harry and company here, with them contributing more thoughtful guitar melodies and steady beats, and her sporting a voice that hasn't lost much to age. She's never been a great singer, but she uses her range well, and even some playful little-girl singing on some songs.

In the grand scheme of things, an album like this doesn't break any barriers or do much new, but it hangs together well, with a good mix of up-tempo and down-tempo songs, good instrumentation, and some songs, like the sax-filled "Songs of Love" that belong on everyone's romantic mix tapes of the future.

  Brendan Howard

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