Blondie: No Exit

Blondie: No Exit

Blondie is back, well sort of. Blondie struggles to recapture some of the magic that they last had in the late seventies and eighties, but subsequent listening proves to be more favorable. As is the dilema with most bands that reform after fading from glory, Blondie had to decide whether or not to pick where they left off or try and come up with something more current. Old fans were probably hoping for something closer to Plastic Letters era Blondie, while the bread and butter ’80’s mix CD buyers can only remember Call Me or Heart of Glass. There must be a lot of temptation to milk the nostalgia money out there since successful second comings are rare, with bands like the Buzzcocks being one of the few exceptions. If you’ve read any of the Blondie books or seen their episode of “Behind the Music”, you know that they had their work cut out for them. Blondie’s first round of appearances on the tv talk show circuit was a little stiff. Cut to a month or so later and they’re doing a live broadcast somewhere in NYC and pumping out 110% effort and energy, running through the greatest hits and a mixture of tracks off the new album. If there is any band that you want to succeed, it’s gotta be Blondie.

Blondie fans queue up for autographs at Tower records in Chicago.
Blindie fans in line for an autograph

If you’re more than a casual fan of Blondie, No Exit isn’t going to replace Parallel Lines or even Autoamerican on your play list. At best it’s good for an occaisional listen. It’s not even that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s not great. Blondie albums always had an eclectic mix that didn’t necessarily present a coherent vision. They were playfull enough to pull it off but in this day and age it’s a little harder make it work. The single “Maria” is vintage Blondie, catchy.

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