Deborah Harry was the most exquisitely tired singer in history. Even her emotionally direct songs wafted on the exhausted sigh of someone who'd whisper in our ears about infatuation and heart break only as long as it took for her bath to run.Harry celebrated the fakeness of femininity, with her boyfriend Chris Stein and a band full of pretty boys helping her weave fragments of mass media into something of her very own, something she could have at home. For Parallel Lines, Blondie hooked up with veteran hitmaker Mike Chapman, the schlock svengali behind such highwater marks of '70s radio as "Ballroom Blitz," "Hot Child in the City," and "Living Next Door to Alice," resulting in the band's juiciest melodies and zippiest beats, as well as punk's first pop crossover. Parallel Lines tells the story of the sunday girl, the pretty baby holed up in her room with her Blondie records, hanging on the telephone, wishing she had a curfew to break at 11:59. Harry dishes the dirt, even on vulnerable moments like "Picture This" and "Sunday Girl". The disco beat of "Heart of Glass" celebrates the pleasures of being young and urban and near a radio, and just in case you thought Sunday girls took boys seriously or anything, it all ends with "Just Go Away". The haunting Eno-drone "Fade Away and Radiate" describes falling in love with dead movie stars, comparing the flickering image onscreen to the light of a dying sun. "Dusty frames that still arrive/Die in 1955" is the best lyric in any rock'n'roll song, ever, and it sums up Stein and Harry's commitment to finding pleasures worth exploiting in the flashy and the temporary.


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