Magazines + Newspapers


15th April 2004


Written by: Bill Biss


immediately after listening to their new CD, The Curse of Blondie, you realise that the original style and punch of Blondie, whose career has lasted 30 years, is just as remarkable as ever. The combination of Chris Stein, Deborah Harry, Jimmy Destri and Clem Burke is just as powerful from their first recording to their newest release.
Why the “curse” of Blondie? Debbie Harry says, “Is it a blessing or a curse? The title was originally meant to be funny, but then we started thinking about it – the catch-22 of life. I guess you’re sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
The first single released, “Good Boys,” is a new spin on the classic Blondie sound and the remix is sailing up the Billboard dance chart. The video is excellent and is a wonderful recreation of a silent film, very similar in style to the 1924 He Who Gets Slapped. Louis Bustamante, who manages the official Blondie web site, said of my noticing the connection, “Yes, Debbie wrote the “Good Boys” story based on the same movie! You’re spot on for noticing that.”
There is a strong variety of styles in this new release. Yet, all the songs have one common denominator, the originality of Blondie and their approach to the music.
Chris Stein on the results: “It wasn’t planned to be eclectic. It’s just whatever comes out. Sometimes we experiment with different styles on a song, but we’ve always been very do-it-yourself. That’s what I think people like about us, in this age of stylists and designers creating a band and their music.”
Deborah Harry lays down the rap lines in “Shakedown.” She created the first original rap music that was not a sample with “Rapture” and this expose on one Jersey boy is humorous and cutting at the same time. “Your rap is a contortion, you got one dimension; pure pretention, your hair an invention, I thought I heard it all, but there’s still more coming…”
Louis Bustamente told me as well, “That is Deborah Harry’s voice used for the traffic reporter in the start of the song.”
The glow of “Sunday Girl” is present on their new song, “Undone.” What amazes me to no end is that a majority of these new songs could have popped up on any of Blondie’s first three albums – their sound never goes out of style.
Debbie spoke of the writing style of the band by saying, “It’s always been our intention to never write another ‘Heart of Glass.’ Sometimes, something does harken back to it, but that comes from us naturally.”
Chris Stein wrote the music and Deborah Harry wrote the lyrics for “The Tingler.” It’s a musical delight and one of my favorites off The Curse of Blondie.
Debbie Harry shared her philosophy by saying, “I knew something was good if I felt terribly embarrassed by it. By revealing something about yourself, you’re taking a chance, and when you’re on that edge, people really feel it. You have to have a personal investment.”
I know there is a generation out there of us boys who had Parallel Lines and Eat To The Beat. For you I say, “run, don’t walk and go buy Blondie’s new one.”
You and your CD player will welcome back an old friend who still has many a new musical trick up their sleeve.
After giving the CD a good listen, head out to Fourth and B on Monday, April 19 to see Blondie live in concert.
I’ll see you there.

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