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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2017

Blondie: Pollinator

Blondie
Pollinator
(BMG)

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The jumpy “Doom or Destiny” opens Blondie’s 11th studio album, Pollinator. Lead singer/face-of-the-band Deborah Harry is in fine voice here, even though her voice is distorted slightly. It’s a solid, singable song to open this collection of 11 tracks. Despite enlisting a bunch of songwriters this time, the original Blondie members (Harry, guitarist Chris Stein, and drummer Clem Burke) create a pretty much spot-on, old-sounding Blondie record here. (Matt Katz-Bohen plays keys and Tommy Kessler is on second guitar rounding out the band.) “Already Naked” has a wide-open space sound and Harry’s echoing vocals is poppy yet slightly sad. “Fun,” with its upfront popping bass under another fine Harry vocal performance (and again a singable chorus) is funky fun. “Gravity” is almost Devo-like with its swiggling keys, Harry’s vocals, and Burke setting up a metallic snap beat. “When I Gave Up on You” is one of those soft punk love songs Blondie does best. Again, there is a lot of processing on Harry’s vocals here (one starts to wonder what she is capable of these days without all the effects), but the guitar slices over her with a nice melody. “Love Level” has a great horn part with crunchy drums, which might be my most favorite track. Blondie was always good for mixing styles and sounds and they do it well on this album. (There is even a rap featured.) The slow, torchy love song “Fragments” (at least slow and torchy before it starts to rock like crazy) is a new Blondie classic to be sure… It’s the perfect ender to Pollinator with all its long plodding drama sailing sounds around the vocals.

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Blondie: Pollinator