The Observer MUSIC MONTHLY

The Observer MUSIC MONTHLY Magazine - September 2003 - page 54
Going for Gold

Written By: Sharleen Spiteri

BLONDIE The Curse of Blondie (Epic)***** 9.99 Innovators they were, innovators they remain, says Sharleen Spiteri of Texas.

DON'T BELIEVE THE hype. In all the sub-Strokes fallout that will surely see this new Blondie record lazily written off as some sort of No Wave New York motherlode affair, one crucial issue should not be forgotten. Once Parallel Lines had shaken things up in 1978, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein continued to have hit singles in the shape of 'Atomic', 'Call Me', 'Rapture' and 'The Tide is High'. The big deal? Diversity. That's an electro-meets-guitar gem (a UK number one), an urgent Giorgio Moroder-produced disco-pop anthem (another UK number one), a slice of rap-inspired madcap genius (number five, shame on us all!) and a rocksteady classic turned whitey wedding reception monster (number one again). Debbie was diverse from the get-go, when she charmingly welded the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies together while nodding simultaneously at the street, the surf and strange sci-fi fantasy. Can 50-year-olds still pull that sort of pop diversity off? Well, the charm of The Curse of Blondie is that they're still looking to innovate their many sounds and styles, with Debbie's accomplished solo jazzy leanings now thrown in to great effect. In fact anyone just looking for classic angular post-Parallel Lines guitars should probably go out and buy the recent Rogers Sisters of Glass Candy CDs instead. If more polished formula-busting pop is your thing, then Blondie are still doing what the rest are left dreaming about... making history.

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