Blondie The Curse Of Blondie

Blondie suffer from the same problem Iggy Pop did for so many years: having an image that’s far cooler than their music. The difference? Iggy released Skull Ring last year — a record that finally justified his image and restored credibility that’s been missing for 25 years — and Blondie put out The Curse Of Blondie; and still haven’t released a decent record since 1980. The curse (and supreme irony) of Blondie appears to be never having been at precisely the right place at the right time like they were at the end of the ’70s. Stylistic veering aside (something they’ve always done) Blondie’s sound has not changed all that dramatically. Where once the band borrowed from disco ("Heart Of Glass”) and hip-hop ("Rapture”), Blondie continue the trend on the R&B-infused "Breakdown” and the electro-pop flavoured "Undone” on The Curse; the problem is that people just don’t care anymore. Every track on The Curse Of Blondie is produced with the same adamantine clarity they’ve boasted since Parallel Lines, but age has been least kind to Blondie in a far less tangible way than in their musicianship or Debbie Harry’s suggestive bedroom voice (both of which have aged pretty well); they’ve just gotten old. "Good Boys” and "Diamond Bridge” could be dance floor hits if they weren’t done by geriatrics. "End To End” and "Last One In The World” aren’t bad rock tunes — and do show a bit of the verve Blondie had when they were a garage band before Parallel Lines — but unless you’re Iggy Pop it’s pretty hard to have a teeny bopper rock hit with grey hair. So what are Blondie doing? The answer is that they’re doing what they’ve always done and recording pop tunes. What’s the problem? They have tried to draw in new audiences at any cost while never trying to retain the older members of their fan base. Blondie have never discovered a mature sound and as such have lost all but their diehard fans and have failed to appeal to a younger audience because they have never totally shed their old sound and as such come across as dated. So what is the curse of Blondie? The curse of Blondie lies in their stubborn refusal to grow up and at the same time have simply gotten old. (Sanctuary)