Deborah Harry - Necessary Evil

Bruce Turnbull 23/08/2007

Rating: 3/5

Unlike Madonna, Debbie Harry still has life pumping through her veins. Her first solo outing for fourteen years, “Necessary Evil” is a strategic tour de force, incorporating elements of almost of her musical excursions, while keeping the style relatively close to the band that propelled her to superstardom, Blondie.

While this is only a five track sampler, it's certainly obvious that “Necessary Evil” is a veritable platter of influences, with each track taking a different approach musically, yet all remain stamped with her idiosyncratic vocal stylings. As the album progresses, the songs become more experimental, with “Charm Alarm” and the obscurely delivered “Whiteout” being the most abstract, with a Kate Nash, or even Lilly Allen brat-like nuance. However, each chorus the album offers is jam packed with the anthemic guitars, straight ahead drums, and elegant cool that graced the best of Blondie's material. Opener and stand out track “Two Times Blue” is by far the most mature offering, owing a lot to Blondie's swansong “Maria”, being a heavy, guitar driven pop hymn that is catchier than anything I've heard this summer, and is destined to be a hit when it's released this September.

Whether “Necessary Evil” will propel Harry to the highest rungs of the popularity ladder is uncertain, but on the strength of these five anthemic, off kilter slabs of power pop/rock, those with a remaining heart of glass had better prepare for them to shatter.