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Day 29: Blondie – Parallel Lines

29 Mar

One Way or Another

My dad…well…let’s call his music taste…eclectic.  Yeah, eclectic.

This week, for Dad-Rock Tuesday, I was assigned Blondie’s 1978 album Parallel Lines.  I’ll admit, I went into listening to this record with a few preconceived notions.  Having never really listened to Blondie before, I mentally grouped the band with someone like Madonna.  I can see that I was wrong to assign that label now, but that’s what kept me from checking this band out before.

So I definitely misjudged Blondie, I’ll admit that.  That doesn’t mean that I’m now a Blondie fan, though.  Sure, this album doesn’t take overproduced pop to the point that Madonna did, but it’s overproduced pop nonetheless.  There’s very little variety in the songs, as a verse-chorus-verse format can be found pretty much throughout the album.  Maybe if a bunch of the songs were exciting, or brought something unique to the table, this repetitive format could work.

The entire album revolves around Deborah Harry’s vocals, as well.  Not that she’s a bad singer, but that consistent focal point over the entire record gets really stale.  She did have solid instrumentalists backing her up.  Maybe hearing the focus shift towards them every now and then could have added some intrigue, or at least broken up the repetitive nature of Parallel Lines.

While looking for something positive on the record, I did find the classic One Way or Another.  Does it have all of the traits that make the rest of Parallel Lines boring? Yeah.  It’s really catchy, though, and remains stuck in my head as I’m writing this.  It also comes early in the album, before the formula really had time to sink in with me.

I understand the appeal of Parallel Lines.  It’s about as standard as Pop-Rock can get, with a polished, clean sound throughout.  I’m just looking for something a little grittier, a little more real.