As Blondie's leader and fictitious namesake, Debbie Harry paved the way for the seductive-but-smart she-rockers of the 1980s. Unfortunately, the band dissolved early in that decade. With "No Exit," the reunited Blondie now seeks to reclaim its legendary status with the same sort of genreless pop hybridization that made the group famous in the first place.
The album's key charmer and first single, "Maria," rings (bells included) with the sort of clarity that characterized classic new-wave singles such as "Dreaming." Of course, it wasn't the pop numbers that made Blondie revolutionary in their heyday, but rather songs such as "Rapture" that borrowed from street beats and the emerging rap culture.
On "No Exit" the aging supergroup once again dives back into the hip-hop arena they helped create for the title track, and the result is a dismal failure that couldn't sound more ridiculous. Elsewhere, the music adequately demonstrates the glossed schizophrenia of an art-pop band on the mend, and likewise reintroduces Blondie to the excesses that almost killed them.
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