Music » CD Reviews

Blondie

The Curse of Blondie (Sanctuary)

by

comment
What exactly is the curse of Blondie? Some might say it's "Heart of Glass," their glamorous disco sidestep, which slammed the door on their punk roots. Others might postulate it's Debbie Harry, whose kittenish sex appeal tended to overwhelm the band's music. But as their new studio album demonstrates, perhaps Blondie's greatest burden is their inability to recapture the pop-song perfection that first made them famous.

The bizarre, pro-New Jersey rap breakdown "Shakedown" plods with clumsy lines and generic metal riffs, while "Rules for Living" meanders along with few hooks and fluffy, inconsequential light-rock posturing. Even the new-wave-flavored zing of the otherwise excellent "Golden Rod" extends for a minute or two longer than necessary.

But Curse isn't a total nightmare: The Billboard top 10 dance hit "Good Boys" is a crystalline discotheque classic rife with snaky, Chic-like licks; "Desire Brings Me Back" skronks with refreshingly jarring free-jazz saxophone; and "Undone" shimmers with Harry's positively glowing vocals, which have aged into a smoky instrument of seduction. In the end, Curse is simply superfluous, seeing that countless other bands today write Blondie songs infinitely better than Blondie itself.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.