Panic of Girls
The last time Blondie made an album, 2003's The Curse of Blondie, the veteran New York City group channeled its scrappy new-wave roots. On their ninth record, Panic of Girls, they're in more of an Autoamerican mode, coasting along on soggy island rhythms and forced world beats. The core trio — Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Clem Burke — enlist producer Jeff Saltzman, who's worked with the Killers, to give some songs an electro-pop lift. But it's the stars-on-holiday reggae shuffles that dominate Panic of Girls — and nearly sink it. Harry can still work up a sweet-and-sour coo from time to time (check out "Mother," a nostalgic trip back to her '70s club days), but just a little too often she and her bandmates slip into lazy sun-kissed grooves that barely worked 30 years ago. — Gallucci
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