Undeniably one of the most iconic and influential bands of all time, Blondie are about to release their 11th studio album, Pollinator. As this year marks the 20th anniversary since their reformation, the new album promises to bring life to 2017, reviving the vintage Blondie style with a modified take. The 11 track album features their latest singles Fun and Long Time, both of which possess a bold and euphoric energy.
Instantly hit by a repetitive drum beat, punk filled guitar and Debbie Harry’s rhythmic vocals, Doom Or Destiny provides the perfect opening track to an album that is blessed with experimental twists. Three years on since the release of their album, Ghost of Download, Pollinator aims to not only capture Blondie’s signature pop-rock sound, but develop it further through the merging of genres. The album contains numerous collaborations with a variety of artists including Charli XCX (Gravity, cover), Sia and The Strokes’ Nick Valensi (Best Day Ever), all of whom contribute a touch of modern pop to the album. However, it’s the classic writing duo of Chris Stein and Debbie Harry, who are the heart of the album’s creation, that make the album truly worth listening to.
Long Time captures the pure new wave style of Parallel Lines. The track features a collaboration with producer and songwriter Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) who helped the band channel this nostalgic replica of their iconic single, Heart of Glass. Offering lyrics filled with passion, heartache and a synthesised disco track, the song holds signatures of both Blondie and Hynes himself.
Already Naked proves that even at 71-years-old, Debbie Harry’s melodic, albeit now slightly raspy voice, still oozes that captivatingly cool-dreamy-lustful lure. But it’s Johnny Marr who gifts the album a moment of melancholy that allows for Harry’s voice to demonstrate its full capability. The legendary guitarist leaves his mark on the album in the form of My Monster, a song he both wrote and performed guitar for. Not only does Marr provide Blondie with a song that captivates the entire album, he also provides an echo of the The Smiths. “Human beings are stupid things when we’re young.”
Despite the standard set by the rest of the tracks, Pollinator reaches a point where the songs no longer possess the same vibrant energy. This comes across in a heavily synthed, almost futuristic sounding, country ballad When I Gave Up On You. A song that feels completely out of place along with the slower follow up track Love Level. Redeeming itself, the album returns with a surge of energy in pop fueled anthem Too Much. The song’s repetitive lyrics and techno beat feed back into the music, preparing you for the final song. Blondie end Pollinator with a seven minute cover of Fragments, originally written by Adam Johnston (aka an Unkindness’) in 2010.
For the last four decades they have remained relevant and continued to dominate the world of music, art and fashion. No, Pollinator isn’t perfect, but it is evidence that Blondie aren’t done yet.
● Doom Or Destiny
● Long Time
● Already Naked
● My Monster
● Best Day Ever
● When I Gave Up On You
● Love Level
● Too Much
The album ‘Pollinator’ is released May 5th via BMG and is available to pre-order now.
New single Fun is available to stream and download.