Blondie - Parallel Lines - Review
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critics' view

The album blasts in with a killer version of The Nerves’ 1976 single, “Hanging On The Telephone”, and Blondie boss the tune. The ubiquitous “One Way Or Another” follows, and the group continue to show they can sometimes deliver the goods outside of the 45s. The mighty “Picture This” is next, and leaves absolutely no doubt in regards to the special powers of this band; for the third album in-a-row we’ve had tracks of the “all-time classic” variety. Amazingly, they proceed to bomb with “Fade Away And Radiate” (actually the b-side to “Picture This”) – I find it bizarre and disturbing that Blondie can suddenly attempt to reinvent themselves as the New York Pink Floyd; an epic fail. Why is it albums often have the very best tracks followed by the very worst? This leaves me reeling, trust having been lost. Neither “Pretty Baby” nor “I Know But I Don’t Know” do much to restore faith, but “11:59” perks me right back up with its soar-away feel-good pop brilliance; all the fun of the fair with none of the schmaltz. All of my earlier doubts are then cast aside completely with the sheer excellence of “Sunday Girl” and “Heart Of Glass”. A fun-packed cover of “I’m Gonna Love You Too” (Buddy Holly, 1958) seals the deal on this zippy affair. They walk a thin-line sometimes, but they always end up on the right side of the fence for me; they're never too far away from a Clem-tastic snap of stick-twirling cool.

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