"Blondie is a group," the late 1970s ads for this most successful of American new wave bands once proclaimed. Unfortunately, the long-anticipated reunion album--featuring original members Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri, and Clem Burke--sounds more like disjointed stabs at various styles than it does the work of a cohesive musical unit. "Screaming Skin" has that same cheesy Farfisa organ Blondie used for their hit cover of "The Tide Is High", but you keep waiting for the hook-laden pop melody. Ditto on "Forgive and Forget", which features that old disco beat but without the magic of "Heart of Glass". Elsewhere, they experiment with rap (the title track, featuring guest star Coolio), lounge jazz ("Boom Boom in the Zoom Zoom Room"), and even country ("The Dream's Lost on Me"). But only "Maria" (a garage-pop gem complete with an "I Think We're Alone Now" riff) and a groovy cover of the Shangri-Las' "Out in the Streets" would've felt at home on Parallel Lines
, this group's masterpiece. Drummer Burke proves to be the real "star" here, conquering each of the styles and giving the closing track, "Dig Up the Conjo", its psychedelic Beatlesque "Tomorrow Never Knows" feel. --Bill Holdship
Deborah Harry & co.s 1999 reunion album with three bonus live tracks recorded in London on November 22nd, 1998, their80s hits Call Me, Rapture and Heart Of Glass. 17 tracks in all, also including the hit single Maria. 1999 release.