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FridayReview – The Guardian

3rd October 2003 – Pages 26-27


The Curse of Blondie (Epic)
That Debbie Harry is no rapper was evident as long ago as 1981, when she drawled, “The man from Mars is eatin’ cars” on Blondie’s contribution to early hip-hop, Rapture.
The reformed band’s new album opens with a similar downtown-rap effort, Shakedown, and when her deadpan rhyming kicks in, it’s clear that the intervening decades haven’t done anything for her flow. Not that it makes the slightest difference. The iconic position Harry still occupies at 58 was never a matter of technical proficiency, and The Curse of Blondie is a reminder that nobody, but nobody, does amused cool like she does. She still finds much to entertain herself with, celebrating “good boys” (who are anything but) on the churning electro-howl of that name, and languidly weighing up whether to start a “poisonous” affair on disco throwback Golden Rod. The Blondie boys, led by Chris Stein, are in snappy form: their metier is still mainly sharp new-wave pop, though they have a crack at dub reggae on Background Melody and folk on Magic (Asadoya Yunta).
A saucy strut of an album that may not measure up to the classics but wipes the floor with imitators like Madonna.
Reviewed by Caroline Sullivan

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