Blondie 4(0)-Ever

Why remake your own classics? For Blondie, this 40th-anniversary twofer is a way to reinsert themselves into the pop dialogue. Wisely, they don't mess with the blueprints for "Heart of Glass," "Rapture" and nine other favorites; they just sharpen the production, which was never that masterful anyway. More interesting, if less irresistible, is the companion disc of new material: modern dance pop focusing on Latin fusions ("I Screwed Up," with Panamanian-American rappers Los Rakas) and EDM. The latter jams could benefit from some A-list beatmakers. But the fact that punk's great pop magpies are still engaged with the present is reason enough to celebrate.

From The Archives Issue 1210: June 5, 2014