Necessary Evil - Deborah Harry

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. 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.
  2. It's not until the last few tracks that Harry finds her best collaborator--naturally, it's former Blondie bandmate and paramour Chris Stein.
  3. It boasts a definite spirit of adventure, with vocals that effortlessly tackle pop-rock, menacing funk and new-wave disco. But there are missteps, such as the torchy 'What Is Love.' [26 Oct 2007, p.67]
  4. 60
    Unsurprisingly, Necessary Evil falls short of her prime's pop perfection, yet it provides a fair compendium of her career. [Oct 2007, p.90]
  5. 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.
  6. It's not what anyone is hoping for from Harry, but the highlights are decent enough to keep hardcore Blondie fans satiated until she finds some collaborators worthy of her talent.
  7. Necessary Evil is bereft of surprises and is pretty much as you would expect it to be.
  8. There are interesting moments here, but they're fleeting, crying out for a bit of the deliberate craft of Blondie's comeback albums, which may be predictable but at least they're focused, which makes for easier listening than this long 17-track slog of sound.
  9. The pastiche of styles on Necessary Evil is quintessential Debbie Harry, but diamonds in the rough aside, it also makes for a wildly uneven, often jarring collection of songs.
  10. 40
    The results are frequently souless and over-produced. [October 2007, p.93]
  11. There's commendable variety among these 17 tracks, but little that rises above the mediocre. [Oct 2007, p.98]
  12. Debbie Harry's sixth solo album starts off strong, or at least nostalgic, with a pair of ebullient New Wave pop-rockers, 'Two Times Blue' and 'School for Scandal.' Then it just gets stupid.
  13. Harry remains a creative force, and it's clear she needs to continue making music, but her new songs lack the cohesive spark needed to make anyone but diehard fans take notice.
  14. It's mostly awful, with Harry sounding hopelessly out of step.
  15. Twenty seconds into Necessary Evil and I'm cringing, and it's only amplified by the fact that this very same voice once performed 'Heart of Glass' and 'Rapture.'

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