Although not as immediately likable as Parallel Lines
, and there’s nothing as great as that album’s best songs (although a few numbers come close), Eat to the Beat
is a pretty good Blondie album in its own right, and full of good times.
One thing I don’t care for is the production work on Harry’s vocals. I suppose the band had a bigger budget after Parallel Lines
, but more production was not what her voice needed - it was fine the way it was - the one thing I liked most about her singing was that it was full of personality, and the production here has taken a lot of that spark away.
Album opener “Dreaming” is along the same lines as Blondie have always done - a short 1950's-style pop song updated for the 70's. The drums are loud, clear, and bouncy, and the melody is pretty catchy. Harry's voice sounds clearer and more disciplined (as well as having a sort of echo effect added to them), and the other instruments are kept in the background, blended together. Whilst it’s a fine song, I can tell right away how stiff Blondie have suddenly become.
“The Hardest Part” is a really fun and disjointed disco song with some intricate production applied to it. It captures a little more of the energy that Blondie used to be good for, thanks to a bit of growl in the vocals, and pretty enjoyable arrangements. And “Union City Blue” is probably the album's most memorable song, thanks to its stellar melody, and the solid arrangement also helps it leap out of the speakers and come alive more than the others tracks.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews