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Time Out New York - 8th November 2007

Album review 
Deborah Harry

4 out of 6 stars
Necessary Evil (Five Seven Music)

Deborah Harry put the cheekbones on the face of new wave. Lucky for us, she wasn’t content to stop after Blondie’s many ’70s and ’80s hits: Necessary Evil is her fifth solo album and first in 14 years. Its opening notes pay homage to “Dreaming,” but that’s where the Blondie allusions stop. This is Deborah Harry for the 21st century—references to text messaging and suicide bombers included. 

Necessary Evil feels more like a collection of tracks than an album in the holistic sense. But it works. Harry offers flawless love songs (“If I Had You,” “What Is Love”) and catchy rock (“School for Scandal”), but most of these 17 slick tunes are meant for the dance floor. “Jen Jen,” written and produced by Blondie’s Chris Stein, fuses New Order–style rhythms with electric guitar and catchy chanting. (Other collaborators include the Toilet Boys’ Miss Guy; the Williamsburg-based studio team Super Buddha produced and engineered most of the disc.) If you heard “You’re Too Hot” blindfolded, you might think it was a Le Tigre track, and a damn good one. But the voice is all Harry’s—chic, masterful and sexy, as she has been for 30 years, while trends like electroclash have come and gone. She has expressed in interviews a distaste for the terms icon and legend, but Necessary Evil proves that both apply.

—Kate Crane

Deborah Harry plays the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza Thu 8.

Link: Time Out New York - 8th November 2007

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