A Mixed Bunch

Still the first lady of rock, Debbie Harry is back with a new album due out this September, a sneak peek album sampler is however, too good not to share! Harry perhaps acknowledges that solo albums from established band members are always risky in the album title, 'Necessary Evil', of course once you get past comparing everything that come from Debbie's month to Blondie, you'll discover that this lady still has some killer instincts.

A mix of visceral punk and buzzing ambient electro effects, the 5 tracks on this sampler presumably offer a taste of the kind of fare that makes up the rest of the album, and they're a varied bunch indeed

The first single to be released from the album, 'Two Times Blue' is a sleek Spector-esque affair, brimming with swirling effects and gorgeous vocals that snake their ways into your brain with wicked ease and a smooth, soaring chorus that bubbles with playful effects. 'Whiteout' is purely gritty pop brilliance with growling guitars and catchy rhythms climaxing in an acerbic chorus.

'Charm Alarm' has a surreal feel, blossoming into a busy and complex chorus with ethereal layers overlapping over a pulsing rhythm, it's a unique and deeply infectious number

'Dirty and Deep' shows Harry growing old very ungraciously, with the lyrics, "You've got to lick it like you love it"; it's rather corny and lacks the lyrical eloquence of frothy Blondie tunes, casting Debbie with a slightly r n'b vibe spitting out loaded words over a trippy space age collection of effects.

'If I Had You' is enough to make riot grrrl fans despair, it feels no more than a very generic alt-country love tune with a putrid dreamy chorus of, "If I had you, I'd know all the answers", so in fifty odd years all a feminist icon has learnt is that men give all the answers? Oh purlease!

In short, three out of five of the assembled tasters for Debbie Harry's forthcoming album are right on the mark, just different enough from her previous work but still with plenty of creativity and charm. This is enough to forgive the more questionable inclusions, but with a back catalogue as fabulous as this lady's, you can get away with pretty much anything.