Blondie have released Pollinator, their eleventh studio album.
Over forty years after their first album, Blondie may not be pushing the envelope on Pollinator in terms of expanding their sound to new boundaries, but I don’t think fans will mind. We love Blondie for their sing-a-long choruses and feel good energy. The fact that three original members (Debbie, Chris, and Clem) are still creating music together is an accomplishment in itself, and this album shows they can still produce exciting new music with substance.
Since releasing their self-titled debut album in 1976, there is no denying Blondie have had a strong and influential career. Pollinator sees the band retaining their upbeat, dance-driven grooves on tracks like “Long Time” and “Fun,” but also channeling their punk rock side in tracks like “Doom or Destiny” featuring Joan Jett and new wave abilities in “Too Much.” Album closer “Fragments” is a roller-coaster of a track that begins slow before gradually building the tempo up.
Band members on the 11-track LP include Debbie Harry (vocals), Chris Stein and Tommy Kessler (guitar), Leigh Foxx (bass), Clem Burke (drums), and Matt Katz-Bohen (keyboards). The album was produced at The Magic Shop in New York City and produced by John Congleton.
Pollinator also features a slew of guest contributions. In addition to Joan Jett, there are vocal cameos from The Gregory Brothers and John Roberts. Nine of the eleven tracks feature guest songwriting from an impressive list of artists including Dave Sitek (of TV on The Radio), Johnny Marr (of The Smiths), Charlie XCX, Sia, and Nick Valensi (of The Strokes), among others.
The long list of collaborators comes as a blessing and a curse. There are so many personalities that the album doesn’t have a strong unified identity, with some tracks like “When I Gave Up on You” simply not working. Most of the album sounds good, but the Sia and Valensi collaboration, “Best Day Ever,” is another disappointment.
Pollinator is currently available on Amazon. You can also stream the full album for free above, via Spotify.
For more, check out the Blondie Zumic artist page.