Panic of Girls
The last time Blondie made an album, 2003’s The Curse of Blondie, the veteran NYC group recalled their scrappy new-wave roots. On Panic of Girls, their ninth record, they’re in more of an Autoamerican mode, coasting along on soggy island rhythms. The core trio – Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Clem Burke – enlist producer Jeff Saltzman, who’s worked with the Killers, to give some songs an electro-pop lift, but it’s the stars-on-holiday reggae shuffles that dominate Panic of Girls and nearly sink it. Harry can still work up a sweet-and-sour coo from time to time (check out “Mother,” a nostalgic trip back to her ’70s club days), but too often she and her bandmates slip into a lazy sun-kissed groove that barely worked 30 years ago.