REVIEW – BLONDIE
Blondie – Pollinator (BMG Records)
Genre: New Wave / Pop rock / punk rock
Blondie light up 2017 with the release of their eleventh studio album, Pollinator, an incredible new record and a modern take on the classic, vintage sound of one of the world’s most influential and legendary bands.
Pollinator sees Blondie’s classic writing duo of Debbie Harry and Chris Stein remain at the heart of everything, but fans are also treated to a star studded line-up of song writers, that includes Johnny Marr, Nick Valensi, Dev Haynes, Charli XCX and Dave Sitek.
Opening in classic Blondie style, they waste no time getting started Doom or Destiny, which features guest appearances from Joan Jett and Laurie Anderson. Doom or Destiny is a quintessential Blondie track. It’s full of energy, wholehearted, exciting riffs and a sing along chorus with clean, but slightly distorted vocals that pinpoint their sound in the colourful, vibrant style they are renowned for.
The big sounds of the album continues in Long Time, a track that is dripping in the gaudy sounds of the 70s, and one that sees Blondie collaborate with Lightspeed Champion’s Dev Hyndes. With Debbie Harry’s signature high pitched vocals alternating effortlessly through pitches, the electronic sounds of the synth and the warm sounds spilling out of Chris Stein’s guitar, Long Time is an experiment that stacks up against Blondie’s best.
This uplifting pop rock sound continues with Already Naked, a feel good, summer song with a sing along chorus of ‘relax, I’m already naked!’ This fun, disco rock / pop rock vibe is echoed in Fun, a track that sees Harry’s chirping, high pitched vocals mirror the sounds of disco kings The Bee Gees, in a dancefloor classic that will have fans foaming at the mouth.
Pollinator is packed full of great tracks, and is one huge experiment that Blondie have unreservedly pulled off, marking the resurgence of a truly legendary band following the disappointment of 2014’s Ghosts of Download. Tracks like the psychedelic, pop rock Gravity and the funky Love Level sum up the success of this experiment with the gripping nature of their arrangements, the sharp playing on show and the modern take on such a classic sound.
Make no mistake about it, Blondie are once again a band worth talking about. Pollinator has given Blondie a new lease of life at a time when it looked like new material was a step too far, and they should start living off their hits.
The band hit the road this spring with Phil Collins, along with US and Australian headline tours, and now seems like a pretty good time to see them in action!
RUSHONROCK RATED – 9/10 Tune after tune!
Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.