Title - 'Panic of Girls' (10th Street)
Artist - Blondie
Blondie's 9th studio album, Panic of Girls has just been released over here in the US after having been made available in the UK as early as this past July. Supported by a full on North American tour, the band really sound good here and show that after the 'Curse' comes goodness, after all!
The long-awaited, long-delayed album begins with some power drumming from Clem, before the frantic beat of 'D-Day' is upon us. A synth/keyboard driven song that sounds so much different live, Debbie really seems like she's into this studio version. The cracking 'What I Heard' is next and is easily one, if not the best song on the new album. It literally flows out old school from moment number one and never stops - until it ends, of course!
The next song 'Mother' keeps the hasty, vibrant momentum going that it needs. A song title that refers to a club in Manhattan that Debbie used to frequent, sung live its a totally toned down affair; a set filler. And one that Clem, on stage, has to work hard to keep a decent live track. Then comes 'The End The End,' an album filler at best, the brilliant, simply excellent cover of Sophia George's 'Girlie Girlie' (a big reggae hit from the 80’s) thankfully follows close behind.
'Love Doesn’t Frighten Me' is a decent sing-along song, before another album filler in 'Words In My Mouth,' and then the dull sway of 'Sunday Smile.' As you can tell, this is an album of two sides. Back in the days of vinyl, Side A would have been the one worn out, whereas after one play, Side B would have remained unplayed; much like someone who has never been a drug junkie, needle-free!!
That said, 'Side B' gets a near-last minute reprieve with the Latin influenced, flamenco fast-fun number 'Wipe off My Sweat.' A song that comes out of nowhere to shake things up it is followed by the pleasant 'Le Bleu' (sung, of course, in French) before the album is wrapped up with the uninspired 'China Shoes.'