Blondie don’t really have that much left to prove. They’ve long left their mark; their song remain classics. That introduction should set up Pollinator, a release that’s as much an experiment as it is an exercise in having fun. The record is as much about the collaborators as it is about the band, with songwriting duties being handed over to the likes of Dev Hynes, Sia and Charli XCX, and appearances from Joan Jett and John Roberts (aka Linda on Bob’s Burgers, alriiiiiiiiiight!) The end result is an album that’s a mix of sounds, but still has that impressionable Blondie stamp – cool, yet letting its hair down – at least for the most part. The record itself is not all killer no filler – the Sia-penned “Best Day Ever” is a mess – but for every miss, there’s an inspired touch on tracks like “Doom or Destiny”, which see Debbie Harry and Joan Jett do the collaboration a certain generation has long wished for, or “Fragments”, perhaps a perfect closer to the album. But, you know, Pollinator is fun. And, again, Blondie has little left to prove, if not nothing. [NB] | 3/5
Kids these days might have heard him first from that nine-minute Daft Punk track. “My name is Giovanni Giorgio,” he began, “but everybody calls me Giorgio.” Thus began the unlikely return of Giorgio Moroder to the pop scene’s cool parts, culminating in the release last year of Déjà Vu, his first album in 23 years. Throughout his fifty-year career the Italian record producer has shaped pop music: coming from the bouncy sensiblities of Italian pop, he was a leading beacon of the disco sound, and later produced many iconic songs. As he performs in Manila on Saturday, 27 February (unless there’s another postponement) here’s an attempt to cover all those five decades – well, there was a break – in five songs.