Essential New Music: Blondie’s “Pollinator”

After almost two decades of silence, Blondie reunited in 1999, and this fifth post-reunion project tips its hat to the band’s influence on pop with several famous fans collaborating on songwriting and performing. The result is classic Blondie, the band’s best album since it reunited—maybe its best ever. The arrangement of “Long Time” features Debbie Harry’s strong vocals, a memorable chorus and a new-wave punch that echoes Blondie’s early hits without copying them. Sia wrote and contributed vocals to “Best Day Ever,” a breakup song that celebrates the freedom at the end of a relationship. “Love Level,” a Harry/Chris Stein original, is a seductive dance track with Harry providing the kind of sassy vocal that made her an icon, while “Fragments,” the album closer, shows her digging deep to deliver one of her most powerful vocals, full of raw emotion and anguished longing.

—j. poet