Delivered eight years after the reunited Blondie’s second effort, 2003’s The Curse of Blondie, 2011’s Panic of Girls rushes forth on a sleek new wave disco pulse that’s entirely unconcerned about whether ‘80s retro is in style this season or not. This is fashionable music existing outside the realm of fashion, Blondie updating their classic styles -- disco-rock, reggae-fied pop, garage bubblegum -- just enough to modernize yet not enough to be unrecognizable. Certainly, Blondie bear some signs of their age -- Debbie Harry’s voice may sound a little rough around the edges but the band also has the casual professionalism that comes from decades of play -- but this is not a nostalgia trip, something that’s evident from the new millennium paranoia of its opener, “D-Day.” Modern topics collide with contemporary sounds and if not everything here is convincing -- notably, the Parisian kitsch of “Le Bleu” strikes a discordant note -- the band’s cosmopolitan cool remains attractive.
Panic of Girls Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine