Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
i really wanted to give 4 stars, i really, really did...
on 22 August 2004
'the curse of blondie' is blondie's latest album, signalling their second comeback (of sorts) and a huge world tour. but does the new blondie match up to the old?
sadly, i think not. now, don't get me wrong (i am the biggest blondie fan ever!), but compared to their previous work, 'curse' really is an so-so album from a band who can do sooo much more (look no further than 1978's 'parallel lines'). true, there are some absolutely knockout moments on show here that almost recall the past, like the thumping, 'rapture'-esque single 'good boys', the sweet but not sickly pop of 'undone' and the beautiful 'rules for living'. the band are at their heaviest with 'golden rod' and 'last one in the world', two of the best tracks here. for some reason, i really like 'diamond bridge', as well. also, it's good to know that blondie's hidden secret, aka drummmer/machine-gun clem burke, is still holding everything together magnificently.
it's a shame, then, that the other seven tracks either miss the mark completely or come across as average. tracks six all the way through to ten are all generic pop/rock songs with interesting lyrics and pretty melodies, but they just don't have the same magic as any of the 70s material. can someone please tell debbie harry what an awful rapper she is, just so that we don't have to listen to her on tracks like the embarassing 'shakedown'? i cringe listening to that one. 'desire brings me back' is a mess, and 'songs of love' could have been improved so much by being cut off after about three minutes.
'curse' isn't the first time that blondie have attempted to mix different styles into their music; it all started in 1980 with the diverse and consistently superb 'autoamerican', which was followed by the relative let-down of 'the hunter'. the first comeback effort was in 1999 with 'no exit', a partial return to form with a few stunners (especially the number 1 single 'maria'), a few stinkers and everything else in between.
all in all 'curse' is a pleasant listen which longtime fans will cautiously welcome, but it's unlikely to bring too many newcomers into the fold. for any other band, having this as one of your three worst albums would be a huge compliment, but for blondie, it's a bit of a shame. the bottom line is, once you've heard what they were capable of, the new stuff just doesn't deliver in the same way. stick with the classic late-70s releases.