Album of the Decade--or the Century
maxsoccer | Wyckoff, NJ USA | 07/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's almost impossible for me to describe how much I love this album. There aren't too many albums that can be described as "perfect," but this is one of them. How else can you describe an album in which everything comes together, from vocals, through song writing, through instrumentation, through production? An added bonus is that the cover is absolutely amazing--something that, unfortunately, has been lost in shrinking it to fit within a CD case. AutoAmerican perfectly captures a spirit. Each track is more amazing than the last, with Debbie Harry's vocals holding the whole thing together. With such established classics as "The Tide Is High" and "Rapture"--which have become instantly recognizable everywhere--it's hard to imagine how truly groundbreaking this album was when it hit in 1980. Never before had such a successful band stretched itself so far. What was happening here? "Europa," a high-tech instrumental, opened the album with a vastly conflicted view of the automobile's place in modern America. "Live It Up" was a synthesized monument to night life, undercutting itself at every turn. From there we were back in the 1940s, with Debbie crooning a sweetly backward and naive lounge song, "Here's Looking at You." Next stop--America's premiere New Wave band hires an orchestra and remakes "The Tide Is High," with Debbie singing in both a low and high register simultaneously. After that, the sounds of urban destruction as the introduction to the haunting "Angels on the Balcony," which should have been the album's third hit (and which remains a favorite of most Blondie diehards). Side One closes with "Go Through It," a tongue-in-cheek western number that's so clever and catchy that you can't get it out of your head. Side Two--"Do the Dark," with synthesizers noodling all over the place and Debbie's voice once and for all becoming a part of your entire sensibility. But nothing prepared us for "Rapture," that odd crooning followed by--could it be?--some sort of fast-paced poem that was the first time most white people ever heard of rap. Change directions again--"Faces," Debbie Harry's first foray into jazz, and the song that made the world realize, once and for all, that Debbie Harry wasn't just a pop princess, but a SINGER. Then, another whirlwind--"T-Birds," which should have been the album's fourth hit--so rousing that it could be anthem for just about any sport (though the song itself is about rollerskating). Back into urban territory and Blondie's occasional cynicism with "Walk Like Me," perhaps their most unsettling song because it's so wise. Close with "Follow Me," an unexpected song to end an utterly unexpected album. This import includes two additional tracks--a remix of "Rapture" (the first remix of a song that is still remixed, to this day) and a rare remix of "Live It Up." Blondie will always be remembered for PARALLEL LINES--another perfect (in a different way album). PARALLEL LINES is for everyone--its appeal is universal and instantaneous. AUTOAMERICAN is a mature work of art that improves with every listen. And I mean that. I've listened to this album at least once a week for the last 20 years, and it NEVER gets boring. I'm always discovering new connections in the songs, and it becomes more relevant every day. Everyone should own this album. Hooray to the Brits for keeping this album available. In fact, if anyone else feels this way about this album, I'd love to hear from you: MaxSoccer5@aol.com."
1 of my GREATS
D. Brody | OHIO USA | 06/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so surprised that no one has reviewed this album yet! I have been listening to Blondie since I was just a kid and this is one of my favorite releases (behind "blondie" and "eat to the beat"). This album did produce a couple hits but i feel that the rest of the songs are stronger in comparison to them. My standouts include "Europa", "Angels on the Balcony", "Do the Dark", "T-birds", and the jazzy "Here's Looking At You"......but all the songs are enjoyable....with my exception of the overplayed hits "The Tide is High" and of course "Rapture" (I do skip over these....lol) This is a great album to own if a Blondie fan....a bit more eclectic maybe than the previous sounds....but yet still Blondie. Buy it, give it a listen and enjoy!"
Blondie Made Rap Accessible
C. Todaro | Rocky Point, NY United States | 03/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How many times can we listen to Aerosmith get the credit for bringing rap to the masses when it was Blondie who did it in "Rapture", Fab 5 Freddy references and all?
A band which never got its due."