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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Blondie

No Exit

Review by Gary Hill

For fans of the classic Blondie sound, this album is certainly a welcome return. The band seems to have stayed faithful to their old sound, while updating it. A couple of the songs here appear to have definite musical links to older Blondie classics, but all have their foot firmly planted in that respectable musical legacy.

Blondie (Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, Deborah Harry and Chris Stein) are joined on this disc by numerous musical guests, most notably Coolio.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Screaming Skin
Based in a classic Blondie vein, this potent pop/rock number features some moments that call to mind Marianne Faithful.
Forgive and Forget
A wonderful dance texture pervades this tune, and the first verse is an energetically spoken word performance that works very well. As the next verse comes in, Harry`s voice begins it`s trademark soaring. This is a very strong cut.
Maria
Steeped heavily in the pop/rock tradition of classic Blondie, the vocal performance on the chorus really makes this one.
No Exit
Starting with a Phantom of the Opera quoted spooky organ solo, this song is quite similar to Blondie`s hit Rapture. It features a guest rap by Coolio and an instrumental break based on Hall of the Mountain King.
Double Take
Pretty balladic tones start this cut, which becomes a powerful composition with an intriguing arrangement.
Nothing Is Real, But the Girl
A quick rocking classic Blondie-styled tune, this one is somewhat reminiscent of an less rough edged One Way Or Another.
Boom Boom in the Zoom Zoom Room
Containing a pop/rock segment, overall this is a very fun bluesy jazz performance. It features a rather odd sounding saxophone solo.
Night Wind Sent
Based on typical Blondie techno dance music an ethereal vocal line completes the picture.
Under The Gun (for Jeffrey Lee Pierce)
This is competent pop/rock ala Blondie`s old style.
Happy Dog (for Caggy)
Based on a bluesy sound a bit like the John Carpenter film version of blues, this one also features a dance beat. However, that bluesy background pervades the piece.
The Dream's Lost on Me
With a countrified main melody section early on, this cut is a good slow pop song. The country sort of sound winds up evolving more into a folk type of tone.
Divine
Another fun tune in the classic Blondie tradition, this one is more rock, less dance oriented, with a bit of a reggae feel to it. It features a nice saxophone solo and spoken word segment to round out the creative arrangement.
Dig Up The Conjo
Featuring a very electronic texture, the wonderful vocal arrangement really is the highlight of this number. It has an almost jungle mode at times and lots of wonderful layering. Also included is a fantastic retro sounding keyboard solo.
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