In many ways, Blondie were a bizarro world Talking Heads. They focused on humor, a pastiche of musical styles that were long outdated, and - above all - a strong sense of style.
Blondie are a lopsided grin, a naughty wink, and are usually associated with frontwoman Debbie Harry. Their music has little of the seriousness of penetrating monologue of a David Byrne, or the hypnotic lockstep of the Talking Heads' rhythm section.
had a pretty good formula though ... deliberately cheesy synth parts, smart humorous lyrics set to discarded 50's and 60's sounds - Motown girl groups / surf music / cloying 50's ballads / even an ode to West Side Story
The quintessential example is the opening "X Offender", which opens - like many early 60's songs - with a spoken intro from Harry on how she wants to go with an unspecified 'you'. Of course, it turns out that 'you' refers to the officer arresting her for prostitution, and that's the sort of humor prevalent on this album.
The lyrics are almost all pure pop kitch, and deliberately so - listen to the way Harry says flesh
on "In the Flesh", another psychotic love obsession song. It sounds perverse - I mean, who wants literal 'flesh' - and the word has such a horrible sound (also note the double entendre contained in the chorus of "Look Good in Blue").
Drummer Clement Burke works hard, which enables Blondie to shift genres successfully, but the band's sound is nevertheless pretty thin - it's clear that Harry's vocals were the intended focus of attention - the rest are there to fill out the backing, occasionally tossing off a central riff, but otherwise pretty nonchalant. Do the public even remember any of them besides Harry nowadays?
by Reviewer: Obscurity
(blogging at Obscurity!