Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Necessary Evil
Five Seven Music

Pop rock gives way to three extraordinary cuts at the end

Believe Debbie Harry's claim that love moved her to create her first solo album in fourteen years, with the obscure New York production team Super Buddha. Professionally, she must like these people; artistically, she's old enough at sixty-two to feel that life is too short for irony -- for the role-playing she's specialized in since Blondie. Unfortunately, Super Buddha's pop rock tends toward the ordinary just like these excellent values. Yes, their songs can be playful. You'll notice when the guitars escalate on "You're Too Hot," when Harry sotto-voces her sexpot act on "Dirty and Deep." But you'll really notice when a long diminuendo fourteen tracks in proves a bridge to the last three songs. The first is punky Afro-pop played by Harry's Blondie-mate Chris Stein, the last a first-person meditation on suicide bombing by another old pal, Jazz Passenger Roy Nathanson. Both dwarf the rest of the record.

Rolling Stone, Oct. 18, 2007