The Curse Of Blondie

Three decades into their career, Blondie evidently want to move beyond their New Wave-era glories, and on their first album in five years, they're stretching out. They open it with an embarrassing stab at rap metal (just because Debbie Harry made "Rapture" doesn't mean she should bust a rhyme) and also attempt a drone-rock adaptation of an Okinawan folk song, some heavyish rockers and two draggy, jazz-inflected numbers with saxophones. Still, the vintage sound they're evading is precisely what they're best at. "Good Boys" is a deliberate evocation of their past disco groove — Chris Stein's guitar provides punk-funk punctuation, Harry sings with ice-goddess affectlessness — and the most fun song here by a New York mile. A few other moments recall Blondie's old hits, too ("End to End" is a lesser rewrite of "Call Me"), but too much of The Curse would be blandly anonymous if not for Harry's inimitable coo.