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Blondie - Pollinator

  by Mary O'Meara

published: 3 / 7 / 2017

Blondie - Pollinator
Label: BMG
Format: CD


Appealing new album from Blondie which includes songs written by Joan Jett, Sia, Johnny Marr and Blood Orange's Dev Hynes as well as some Chris Stein/Debbie Harry's own numbers

It's somehow very fitting that the new Blondie album 'Pollinator' germinated in and was given birth to at New York's famous SoHo recording studio The Magic Shop. Sadly the studio is no more and 'Pollinator' happened to be the last record made there. Legends including David Bowie (his final two albums were made there), Lou Reed and Foo Fighters favoured this space. Perhaps these esteemed acts left some fibre of their beings there as there's some kind of alchemy about 'Pollinator' - a feeling that a sort of communal vintage magic that belongs to no individual but works best synergically has laced the album. Therefore it's also fitting that almost each track is written by a different musicians including Charlie XCX and Sia, as well as artistes of the same era of Debbie Harry herself, such as Joan Jett and Laurie Anderson. I'm glad to report there are a couple of Chris Stein/Debbie Harry numbers all the same and Debbie also co-wrote current single 'Long Time' with Blood Orange's Dev Hynes. This and opening track 'Doom or Destiny' carry the classic Blondie sound. 'Long Time' stays in your head once you meet it, containing those familiar particles of buoyant Blondie/ New York DNA. A track like 'Fun' is the kind I thought nobody could write anymore - a perfect piece of dancefloor euphoria, it's as disco as 'Heart of Glass' but as hypnotic as 'Rapture' but completely different to either - an exploration of excess and compulsion but with that touch of melancholy and wisdom in which Harry concludes "Too much fun...isn't fun". The brooding 'My Monster' penned by Johnny Marr is a perfect marriage between himself and the band. It manages to sound like it could almost be lifted from Marr's last album 'Playland' yet in essence it carries the quientessential Blondie sound. Harry's delivery is perfect, the pauses, the ebb and flow of words assemble and merge into the music "Run/It's come/Gone/It got to ya/In your heart of darkness." There's one more track that stands out for me - the achingly beautiful 'Too Much' which keeps with the theme of excess, of overflow, of loving someone "just too damn much." 'Pollinator' offers a diverse yet unified blend of Blondie tracks that sit together remarkably well considering how many songwriters were involved. Fans will likely love it and anyone who has somehow not got acquainted with this 40 year old band could fall in love too. SoHo recording studio The Magic Shop was a favorite for acts like Lou Reed, Foo Fighters, and David Bowie. Magic Shop founder Steven Rosenthal’s year-long dispute with his landlord recently came to a head. With the backing of Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Rosenthal attempted to buy the property, but his bid was rejected by the co-op board of the building.

Track Listing:-
1 Doom or Destiny
2 Long Time
3 Already Naked
4 Fun
5 My Monster
6 Best Day Ever
7 Gravity
8 When I Gave Up on You
9 Love Level
10 Too Much
11 Fragments

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