Blondie

No Exit

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Once you've cherished Blondie you never really go back, even if for half of your life you must cherish them out of forgiveness, or just plain heartfelt concern. Debbie Harry loves to make curious decisions about her music, and it's always important to listen to her work carefully and several times (while trying to keep her performance in John Waters' Hairspray either firmly in, or out, of your mind as you do). In the old days, Harry and her guys covered terrific old blues and trippy, backwater pieces, popped up and pretty, punkified, otherwise unremarkable rock tunes, and flat out treated us to a show, whether live or Memorex. No Exit is a gritty downtown incarnation that almost sounds like a cutting room castaway, filled with raw and abject moments and digressions that suggest an improvised, irrelevant feel. The talkative "Screaming Skin" is a lyrically confused, stream of consciousness piece that sounds as if it was written on a paper bag on the subway -- and some people really like this stuff. But some of the instrumental tracks have the veneer of an afterthought, particularly in the percussion department. Miss Debbie is always at her rockin' finest when futzing with the blues (and country, really), which she does on most of the latter half of the disc like the consummate, crazy pro that she is. If nothing else, No Exit is a testament to authentic rock and roll durability, and, well, the abiding "wow" that is Debbie Harry.

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