Not as strong as her brilliant 1989 return to form with `Def Dumb and Blonde
', 1992's `Debravation' is nevertheless a pretty good album. Its major downfall is that, like many albums in the 90s, it has a number of producers (six in total). This tends to make it lack a certain artistic cohesion and causes the 12 tracks to sound more jarringly eclectic than they would have if they had been overseen by a single person. That said, they are mostly fine songs and Harry carries them off with style and finesse.
For the first half, there is an emphasis on dance, while things get moodier and rockier on the second. (The 2005 re-release includes 2 additional songs at the end -`Tear Drops' and `My Last Date'.)
Influential early hip hop producer, Arthur Baker, co-wrote, and produced the opening adult-oriented dance single, `I Can See Clearly', setting the tone for most of the first six songs. `Lip Service', co-written with and produced by Toni C, whom Harry had written with on her previous 2 albums (`Sweet and Low' on `Def, Dumb and Blonde', and `I Want You' on `Rockbird
'), is a slightly nutty up-tempo dance track that pauses hilariously in the middle for Harry to recite lines from Edgar Allan Poe's `The Raven'. Former Art of Noise member, Anne Dudley produced the loungey, sassy `Strike Me Pink', as well as `Mood Ring', its companion piece in the second half - both slow, moody pieces that up the class quotient of the set and are among its finest songs.
Former partner and Blondie member, Chris Stein, also co-wrote with Harry and produced four of the remaining songs - all rockier than the rest - including the darkly threatening album closer, `Dog Star Girl', co-written with cyber punk author, William Gibson.
Realistically, the different styles and sounds on `Debravation' don't really fit together well, so the album tends to feel a bit disjointed. At the same time, there is not a bad song among them. After an 18 year association, Chrysalis Records dumped Harry when this one flopped. But that does not mean `Debravation' is not worthy of a place in any Harry/ Blondie fan's collection.