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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Blondie
The Curse of Blondie
Sanctuary Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Raise your hand if you own a copy of Blondie's "comeback" album, No Exit. One, two, three, four... five of you? That's about what I expected, considering that the music encrypted on No Exit wasn't worth the 15 cents it cost to manufacture it. Having fallen flat on their face in their return attempt five years ago, Debbie Harry and company return with a new album - thankfully devoid of Coolio cameos - just in time to salvage their reputation. I mean, does anyone really want to hate Debbie Harry?

Although it is a marked improvement over No Exit, The Curse of Blondie isn't necessarily free of missteps. In fact, the album starts off with a complete turd-bomb of a track, a completely misguided attempt at sounding tough/modern in "Shakedown". I feel obligated to tell you that Debbie Harry tries to rap on the song, using the words "Pope... dick... shit... witch" in successive lines. Don't worry, it gets much better from there.

Okay, maybe I'm giving Blondie a Senior Citizens discount with this review, but songs like the single "Good Boys" pulse with razor-sharp guitars and thick synthesizers atop synthetic dance club beats that are as tight as most of the crap flooding the commercial airwaves these days. "Rules for Living" has a low end that ebbs and flows, flattened guitar fuzz spreading out like clouds behind the familiar voice of the original punk rock goddess. "Magic" vibrates and burbles with an electronic heartbeat, Harry's vocals resonating high in the mix above atmospheric guitars, the following "End to End" gets down and dirty with heavy guitar licks and "The Tingler" aspires to be THE club hit for the summer. A true surprise is the heavy guitar rocker "Last One In the World," a track that references Blondie's contemporaries like Motley Crue as much as it does their own classic sound. The album as a whole manages to do what No Exit failed miserably to accomplish - blending the classic Blondie sound with a contemporary one.

I'm not going to lie to you, The Curse of Blondie is an album made by people more than twice my age who are trying to fit into an image of kids that could be their grandchildren. Taken out of context, the album's missteps are a bit embarassing, but stepping back and looking at the whole picture its not a bad stab at making passable rock. Is Blondie going to break out of the glass case at the punk rock museum and put all the new school retro-dance-punk schools like DFA in their place? No, of course not. But what they are going to do with The Curse of Blondie is salvage their reputation, hopefully put their last two records behind them, and rock a few asses along the way.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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