Release Date: Mar 25, 2008
Record label: Astralwerks
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
It’s been 16 years since these new-wave Georgia peaches released their last studio album, and thankfully the B-52s haven’t grown up one bit for Funplex. Though the guitars are a little beefier and the electronics a little sleeker — check out the ace Rapture impersonation in ”Eyes Wide Open” — the B-52s are still gloriously single-minded party animals more interested in giddily rocking love shacks than stoking intellects. ”Do a white-hot shimmy in a Lurex gown,” Fred Schneider demands in ”Hot Corner,” and that’s about all we need them to do, too.
After hearing the ultra-sheen producer Steve Osborne smoothed across New Order's 2001 album Get Ready, the B-52s' guitarist and music director Keith Strickland found the sound that would bring his band into 21st century. The ultra-slick, synthesizer and drum machine driven Funplex is the result, and while it doesn't make up for the 16 years since their last full-length, it's a good argument that they should get off the revival concert circuit and get back to the studio more often. On the opening "Pump," singers Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson prove right away they can still create sweet harmonies, while Fred Schneider displays that he's lost none of his campy spark and still sounds credible when barking out stories of hot mamas cruising the mall while high on diet pills.
Take a few bored musicians out of their regular group context and put them together in a studio filled with a variety of instruments and what they’ll produce likely won’t sound much different from the Raconteurs’ Consolers Of The Lonely. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine each tune arising from ….