Words by Natalie Weiner—
In 1980, Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” (a cover of the Paragons’ 1967 original) arrived as part of a wave (no pun intended) of reggae-influenced punk and pop. The single was one of Blondie’s many genre-bending, but always danceable, hits—as Debbie Harry put it, “Being from New York, Blondie albums have always been a montage or collage of things that we’re into.”
Blondie’s first album in three years, Blondie 4(0) Ever, dropped today, celebrates the band’s 40th anniversary and features a similarly eclectic assortment of sounds and influences—including an unexpected collaboration with “Panabayian” duo and LargeUp favorites Los Rakas. On “I Screwed Up,” an apologetic Debbie Harry sings over an upbeat dembow beat (that has just a touch of the band’s classic 80s sound), with Los Rakas coming in for a couple verse-long interlude on the bridge.
The track isn’t the only one with tropical stylings—”Sugar on the Side” features Colombian supergroup Systema Solar, and the second half of the album, a “reimagining” of Blondie’s most classic songs, includes a re-recording of “The Tide Is High.”
Listen to the full album at Rolling Stone, tell us what you think of “I Screwed Up” in the comments, and check out Los Rakas’ most recent album, El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo, for more of their dancehall/hip-hop/plena flow.