Poly Styrene's generation of fun


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There’s a good chance you don’t know who Poly Styrene is.

I didn’t either until I read an article on Pitchfork learning that she had died. She was a punk-pop poetess who performed with X-Ray Spex and recorded a solo album in 1980.

“Generation Indigo,” is Poly Styrene’s last album, released only three months after the announcement that her breast cancer spread to her spine and lungs. At the time of her death April 25, she was 53, but “Generation Indigo” puts her in touch with — and ahead of — this generation.

The album is colored with flavorful, rocking beats and sweet melodies, much in the vein of Blondie’s Debbie Harry. “Virtual Boyfriend,” for example, is a deliciously upbeat tune about a MySpace lover, filled with cheesy metaphors about e-mail and text messaging to boot. As common as that topic might be in popular music, it is leaps and bounds away from the sing-songy nonsense that Ke$ha would cook up. An inspiring lyric: “I’m looking to the future and I’m not looking back.”

I wish Poly Styrene was still around because should could teach us Madonna-haters a thing or two: just because your last album was in 1980 doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great time. “Generation Indigo” is an irresistible blast.

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