Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What I Heard

Song: What I Heard
Artist: Blondie
Album: Panic of Girls

While certainly not prolific, even since their "return" after splitting for some fifteen years, Blondie is still at it, making reggae-lite dance-punk with a dancy edge and in many ways not only re-proving why they hold a place in rock'n'roll history, but why they remain a large influence on today's indie rock and dance bands.  "Panic of Girls" is the bands ninth album, released late last month.

It's hard not to split the bands output between heir heyday, and their new material post their return, 1999's "No Exit."  So in terms of their new material, save for killer single "Maria," "No Exit" was kind of a mess and left me disappointed upon its release.  But their last album, "The Curse of Blondie" from 2003 was pretty great in my book.  Filled with a renewed vigor that seemed missing on "Exit."  You can read more about my thoughts on that record here.

Funny, I sat down to write a little about "Panic of Girls" this AM and tell you that unfortunately, it also was a little lackluster, and not worth the eight years wait.  BUT, upon giving the album its fourth spin this AM, a couple tracks started to really take hold for me.  Giving me a little; "oh right I like this one," and "wow this one is good too."  Again it amazes me when people can make up their mind about a piece of music or song in a limited amount of time.  (a footnote that should accompany every WeCast post as there is a very good chance I'll denounce what I've said, though truthfully, it's usually a negative reaction turned positive.)

While there isn't an immediate balls-out killer single the likes of "Maria" or "Curse's" "Good Boys," as I am hearing this AM, there are certainly some growers.  Second track "What I Heard" is a nicely melodic slice of New Wave that sounds like classic Blondie.  First single "Mother" brings on the modern electronic flourishes but the chorus is full-tilt Blondie and very reminiscent of "Maria."  You'll hear the island vibe they've always leaned on a bit (think "Tide is High") on "The End The End," Sunday Smile," and my favorite, the sunny and a touch goofy "Girlie Girlie."

I may still be forming my opinion on "Panic of Girls," but if you're a fan... I think it's obviously a must listen.  If you haven't really gotten into their post reunion music I might suggest "Curse" over this, with an added "Maria" for download as a must.  And if you don't know who Blondie is... by goodness pick up a Greatest Hits compilation, preferably this one (as it includes "Maria" and "Union City Blue" which was missing from the comp I got in my youth.)  Though if you're a bit of an album purest, run, do not walk, to "Parallel Lines."  It's possibly their best testament to their greatness.

And they've still got it.


What I Heard
Girlie Girlie

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