Blondie – Panic Of Girls

Written by Neil King
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When Blondie performed "Die Young Stay Pretty" on "Eat To The Beat", I guess they didn't imagine that four decades later they would still be releasing albums capable of making you stop in your tracks.

Behind the cult of Debbie Harry, her looks and her voice, it was and still is all too easy to forget that she is a great songwriter who can turn her talents to a spectrum of genres ranging from rock to pop, new wave to reggae, and even to rap and dance.

Between her and the rest of the members of Blondie – including co-writer and guitarist Chris Stein, keyboard player Jimmy Destri and world-renowned drummer Clem Burke – they gave the band an instantly identifiable sound. It speaks volumes for "Panic Of Girls" that three of those members are still in the band and that three of the other members of Blondie have been in the band since 1997. Perhaps more than ever Blondie is a band, albeit one led by the incredible Debbie Harry.

"Panic Of Girls" is pure Blondie, easily capable of being spoken of in the same sentence as "Plastic Letters", "Parallel Lines" and "Eat To The Beat": three albums that shaped my childhood. The current single "Mother" has all the hallmarks of a classic Blondie song: fresh and easy to stick in the mind. It feels of the here and now, while wearing its genes on its sleeve.

The same goes for the video, which seems to have swapped the post apocalypse of "Atomic" for a post-modern zombie flick and classic edge of destruction feel: if we're going to go out, lets go out singing.

A truly classic album has Debbie singing at least part of the album in French and again we're not going to be disappointed: check out "Le Blue" in which I swear you can hear Ms Harry pouting and shrugging her shoulders.

There are lighter moments too – Blondie have never been without humour to mix in, with the comic book dreams, "Girlie Girlie", finding a tongue rammed firmly in a cheek. Oh yes, all the essential elements are here. "Girlie Girlie" is one of two list songs on the album – well, if you get the fan-pack version, "Horizontal Twist" takes it to a completely different place.

This is an album that helps the decades to just fall away. Blondie quite simply have delivered an album that blows away the years and enhances their reputation as one of the finest band's of their generation.

If you can, get the fan pack, not for the pictures, poster and badges, but for the magazine – it really does make a damned fine read. Interestingly, Future Publishing are given label credit whereas the non-fan version (which is not available until the start of July) is credited to EMI.

Blondie are back and they're every bit as good as they were when we were young.

© Words - Neil King

Used by Kind Permission of Neil King and Fatea – Magazine

Read 3497 times Last modified on Friday, 08 May 2015 15:29
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