CD Review: Blondie

Panic of Girls (Noble Id)


Panic of Girls

(Noble Id)

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