Attitude - November 2003 - Page 105
The Curse Of Blondie
The 'Curse' of the title is ironic, of course. Blondie's over-nourished beatpop platitudes have earnt them an irreplaceable corner in the pop archive. Between 1976-81, Deborah Harry and her boys presented an impeccable run of artpop singles that doused funk, rap, disco and rock'n'roll with their own special, Midas-like bleach (the likes of Heart of Glass, Call Me, Rapture and Rip Her To Shreads all sound as shiny and perfect today as they did then). A litany of offshoot projects since - more laudable in intent than execution - have failed to sully their perfect memory over the last 20 years. But the decision to revert, self-consciously, back to 'classic' Blondie on 1999's No Exit sent them in perilously close danger of becoming their own tribute band. No change here. The irony of the title is likely to get lost in the result. There is a fabulous EP buried on The Curse Of... Lead single Good Boys is a bold opener, a superbly mechanical Euro gay disco thing that harrumphs with camp bravado. It will almost certainly be huge in Hungary. The Tingler, Rules For Living and End To End almost match it. But it's in the ruminative, extraneous, cutting room floor meanderings of the rest of the album that it falls down. By the time we've arrived at the closing Songs of Love (almost seven minutes of tortuous balladeering) even Harry's voice - still a luminescent pop thing - sounds tired of the material. The rapture hasn't quite flown, but there's a yellow card very near the horizon.