Album Review by Mark Bayross
Blondie’s first new album in four years has kind of crept under the radar, at least here in the UK, but to ignore it would be a mistake as there are some pretty decent moments to be discovered.
Tracks like opener SHAKE DOWN and THE TINGLER have a rousing electro sheen that bridges the gap between the early days of Blondie’s punk roots and the current shiny pop climate, while UNDONE is an instant classic, raising goosebumps in the same way ATOMIC did the first time you heard it.
Other standouts include GOLDEN ROD with its cool Arabic feel, the icy trip-hop of RULES OF LIVING, and the guitar-laden LAST ONE ON THE PLANET that just plain rocks.
Unfortunately, the album’s length does count against it – the middle section suffers from a lack of direction, MAGIC in particular guilty of rambling on – while the jazzy DESIRE BRINGS ME BACK may have sounded like a good idea in theory, but it winds the album up in unnecessarily discordant fashion.
Still, there’s plenty here for fans of Blondie (or indeed bands like Garbage) to enjoy; you just may need the skip button from time to time.