June 2017


Review By: Jimi LaLumia

With 2017 starting off as the year of Max's Kansas City, it seems wise to remind people that Blondie was a Max's band in 1975 and 1976, just as much as they were at other downtown spots; this fact seems to get lost in the swirl of the sands of time burying the facts about the NYC scene until I came along to excavate the truth.In fact, Blondie did some great team up shows with Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers at Max's, still vivid in my mind, as is seeing Debbie Harry getting pinned with one of my "Death To Disco" buttons at the release party for the "Max's Kansas City 1976" various artists album which has just been re issued to thunderous worldwide acclaim.

Blondie is a Max's band that went on to leave a decades spanning worldwide impact, and they never stopped recording new material while touring their classic body of work, so it should come as no surprise that they have an astoundingly fresh new album called "Pollinator", which, in a better world,would spawn at least one top forty hit,as there are so many potential choices."Doom Or Destiny" sounds like classic "Eat To The Beat" era Blondie,vocals, and musical dexterity as strong as ever."Long Time" would be a club/dance hit remix if they still do that sort of thing (I'm sure they do, and they should) The writing chops are still there, and Miss Harry's voice retains that exquisite crystal quality that cuts through the airwaves effortlessly. "Already Naked" has traces of "Parallel Lines",and why not? the fans know what they want, and it's delivered here.

"Fun" should have been called 'Fun-ky",as it recalls Harry's early solo efforts, again, very dancey, very party;"My Monster" delves into darker subject matter, introspective but still uptempo and fun;"Best Day Ever" has a '60's pop anthem feel, while "Gravity"is a stronger, percussion driven tune,highlighting classic Debbie vocal trademarks and that 'sound'. There is a down tempo country tinged , looking back/ relationship song called "When I Gave Up On You", but then it's right back to a trippy new wave cha cha with a little "Sgt.Pepper's" thrown in, called "Love Level", another trademark Blondie sounding pleaser called "Too Much",as the album closes out with the sad but rocking "Fragments". Blondie fans new and old should be pleased; I know that I am.