Review: ‘Parallel Lines’ By Kembrew McLeod

Blondie’s Parallel Lines was released in September of 1978. Kembrew McLeod has taken it on as one of the latest books in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. He’s had experience with writing music criticism for publications like Rolling Stones and Mojo and that experience shows throughout the book. Personally, I love the lead up into the time that Blondie started recording the album. It may have been a bit long considering how condensed the books in this series typically are, but it still worked. He hit the in-depth portion of Parallel Lines about 60 percent of the way through the book, but that prior information was crucial to understanding Blondie and who they were as a band.

I’m familiar with some Blondie songs here and there, but this book made me want to dive into their music and get a better feel for it. The point of these books is to tackle albums from an academic standpoint. It’s almost like if you could write your college thesis entirely on one album, what it meant, and on occasion, how it made you feel. This book also gave me an interest in reading more music criticism from Kembrew McLeod. Overall, it’s a great read on the music scene in the late 70s and how Blondie’s Parallel Lines fit into that.