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Necessary Evil

43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Following the ending of Blondie's second life as a recording and touring outfit, and nearly a decade and a half after her last solo record, Debbie Harry, at the age of 62, makes a surprisingly feisty and invigorating return to form on the spunky Necessary Evil. Recorded with songwriting and production assistance from the likes of longtime collaborator Chris Stein and young production team Super Buddha, this album features echoes of early Blondie's ironic updating of classic '60s pop (the Phil Spector-like "Two Times Blue" shows where Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse got many of their ideas) mixed with contemporary Hip Hop and Electro Rock influences. Highlights include the lascivious "Dirty and Deep" and the lovely ballad "If I Had You," a worthy successor to Blondie's glorious love song "In the Flesh." At an age when many of Harry's contemporaries, such as Elvis Costello or Nick Lowe, are working in musical styles that have no connection to the modern Pop marketplace, Debbie Harry proves that it's possible to rock the mainstream at any age.

Anyone hoping for the 62-year-old Debbie Harry to sit up and act her age will be sorely disappointed by the former Blondie vixen's sixth solo album (and first in 14 years). Viscerally contemporary, Necessary Evil harnesses youthful exuberance from across the charts, and Harry and her team of producers and songwriting partners do radio-ready rock, pop, and soul-lite with à la mode savvy to spare. Big-time sing-alongs ("Two Times Blue," "You're Too Hot") rub elbows with spare, distorted guitar lines piled in arena-sized stacks ("Love with Vengeance," "Charm Redux," and the especially vivacious "Whiteout"). "The Devil's dick is hard to handle," Harry growls in "School for Scandal," encapsulating the attitude of shameless defiance coursing through this and other lean, mean, up-tempo numbers like the half-rapped, full-lipped "Dirty and Deep." Between the reversed hip-hop break bisecting "Charm Alarm," the title track's stolen riff from Rage Against the Machine's "Know Your Enemy," and Harry's bits of Internet imagery, this album won't dare let go of its of-the-moment moxie. Gumdrops like the flaccid "What Is Love" and closer "Paradise" are irrevocable but few; in all, the occasional slice of tripe strangely sweetens Harry's otherwise surprising longevity, ready to rock and salty as ever. --Jason Kirk

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Two Times Blue
  2. School for Scandal
  3. If I Had You
  4. Deep End
  5. Love with Vengeance
  6. Necessary Evil
  7. Charm Redux
  8. You're Too Hot
  9. Dirty and Deep
  10. What is Love
  11. Whiteout
  12. Needless to Say
  13. Heat of the Moment
  14. Charm Alarm
  15. Jen Jen
  16. Naked Eye
  17. Paradise

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Eleven Seven Music
  • ASIN: B000SM7QVQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Henry Branham on October 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
In the past 30 years, Deborah Harry has not only established herself as the coolest woman in the universe, but also as the most adventurous recording artists ever. Throughout her career with Blondie, The Jazz Passengers, and her other four solo albums, she has pretty much tackled every musical genre that's out there.
With NECESSARY EVIL, Debbie doesn't waste time trying to prove what she can do. We already know. It's a solid pop album that offers up some diverse musical landscapes, but does not zig zag all over the place like her last two solo albums ("Def Dumb & Blonde" & "Debravation") and the last two Blondie releases ("No Exit" & "Curse of Blondie"). The sequencing of the songs on NECESSARY EVIL is perfect. The infectious grooves and melodies blend together wonderfully. "Two Times Blue" starts the album as a luscious pop wonder which is followed by the harder hitting "School for Scandal", which shows that age is no barrier for delivering cool, sexy lyrics. "If I Had You" is a power ballad that gives a nod to the girl group sound of the sixties, or more obviously, Blondie's earliest material of the same nature. "You're Too Hot" is a hypnotic sizzler with only six words ever sung (or shouted) that takes the album to a boiling point. This song has stayed in my head non-stop since I saw her perform it on the True Colors Tour back in June! "Whiteout" is a sublime pumping track that is equally addictive as "You're Too Hot". Two stand-out ballads are "Needless to Say" and the album closer "Paradise" (a beautiful song told from the perspective of a suicide bomber!).
What's most remarkable about NECESSARY EVIL is that Deborah Harry seems to be having fun on the record. That's pretty amazing for someone who has been in the business as long as she has.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. Eisenberger on October 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have seen some good and some odd reviews of this cd but to me as a fan of Ms. Harry since 1979 it is always a welcome site to see a new cd as either Blondie or Jazz Passengers or as a solo act-- you know you are going to get something new and different to hear.

When I first played the cd I was a bit taken back with some of the songs-- There are some that I would have left off (Charm Redux and Heat Of The Moment) but then I read an interview with VH1- their Track by Track series and in that Debbie goes through each track and gives you an idea of the song's origin or meaning or the fact that some of the instrumentals through out the cd is to break up the theme of some songs or add a different feel to others and I am thinking that here is a woman who has busted her butt for over 30 years and she can basically set this cd up as she wished. The new Billboard interview also lets you know that she recorded the cd basically with her own money and really is set up for her fans and not sure how well it will actually sell but wanted to make a cd for herself and fans alone. Be damned with what others think I guess.

So here is what I think of Necessary Evil. The lead track "Two Times Blue" is to me not even the best track on the cd. It is a "Maria" type pop hit that has such a killer hook -- try and find the Nickel And Dime radio remix because that is THE best version of the track. Now for the most part on the cd Debbie is much more aggressive sexually lyrically and vocally than the last 2 Blondie cds. "School For Scandal" is pure Alternative Rock that smolders with her delivery. The best track on the new cd is the 3rd song "If I Had You"-- flawless from the intro to the end of the song. It is heart on sleeve/honest Debbie vocals shining all through the song.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Timothy S. Daniel on November 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Now, here's the thing folks...I have read many of your reviews, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why some of you rated this CD one star? Most of you rated is as I did with 5 stars, but I am directing this to the few who rated it lower. First and foremost, I am truly not a "gritty, grundgy, punk rocker"... I prefer Debbie singing her sweet falsetto to a thumping dance beat. I have ALWAYS loved previous outings like "Sweet and Low", "In Love With Love", "Backfired", and of course all of the Blondie classics. But, here is a CD that is so atypical of all of that. It is hard rocking and edgy. You can just feel the energy that Debbie is putting into these songs! From the pop gem, "Two Times Blue", which could easily be a "Maria" remake, to the hard to catagorize "Love You With A Vengence", and the somewhat tribal "Deep End", it is truly a masterpiece!

In closing, as I said before, I love my Debbie "fluff", but the meatier Debbie is is much more filling in the long run.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. YOUNG on October 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
On "Necessary Evil" Debbie Harry rocks out harder than she has in years (with just a slice of hip hop as we've come to expect). With most of the tracks (particularly "White Out" and "You're Too Hot") Debbie proves she still has punk attitude in spades. It's an album full of sing a long hooks and her voice is magnificent throughout. It sounds like she was really enjoying herself with this one. I highly recommend it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lewis Cruise on November 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This album is Phenomenal!! Thanks to Miss Deb Harris, we needed an album like this to put this music era in perspective. I'm a french-Canadian by the way...but I got ears and I know this is good music. In a time, when everything is more prohibited than the 70s, Miss Harry reminds us about people and politician or specialist who's always in study trying to analyse human beings all the on the sex cam...people don't socialise anymore! Why you should need to go to a bar or a club..when you got a flat screen right there in your home! Nevertheless, it's good music to my ears..and I recognise the Blondie I always known in the 80s... in her lyrics, in her voice..She was Fabulous then..She is now. 5 STAR DEB!!!
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I too bought the import (I bought one from the record company website where Debbie is supposed to sign the booklet so that is a plus). The best tracks are Necessary Evil which is an in your face swagger track, You're Too Hot with Debbie playing guitar and the best song on the cd- If I Had You--... Read More
Sep 24, 2007 by K. Eisenberger |  See all 2 posts
I got mine yesterday! WORTH THE WAIT!!!! Be the first to reply
Necessary Evil- Great new album from the queen Be the first to reply
Great album from Harry Be the first to reply
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