After more than 40 years and over 40 million albums sold, Blondie has come a long way from Lower East Side punkers to international pop and rock superstars. Their latest and 11th studio album “Pollinator” gives us a fresh taste of the vintage Blondie sound.
Recorded at The Magic Shop in New York, adding to the band’s creative inspirations and produced by John Congleton, “Pollinator” gives us eleven tracks full of bouncy synths, catchy guitar riffs, and thumping bass lines. The record also brings together a diverse collection of songwriters and musicians in a real collaborative effort with Sia, Dev Hynes, and Charlie XCX to name a few. “Doom Or Destiny” starts things out with a bouncing beat and a duet between Debbie Harry and guest Joan Jett. The first US single “Long Time” is up next and with echoes of Blondie’s 1979 hit “Heart of Glass.” It has an undeniable groove that will have listeners getting up to hit the dance floor. Harry’s vocals are spot on and when listening to the album it’s hard to believe you’re not back in 1979. Guitarist Chris Stein keeps the funky riffs coming with Blondie’s signature mix of rock, punk, new wave, pop, and disco rhythms. “Already Naked” and “Fun” are fun tunes with a dance vibe and memorable hooks. For a change of pace, Harry lends her pipes to the ballad “When I Gave Up On You” and trades vocal leads with comedian and singer John Roberts on “Love Level.”
“Pollinator” is a standout album and the best thing I’ve heard from Blondie since “Parallel Lines.” For Harry, Stein, and company to be putting out this kind of material so late in their career is a true testament to their talent and passion for the music. This one is a keeper.