MGF Reviews The B-52s – Funplex

The B-52s – Funplex
Astralwerks (3/25/08)
Pop / Rock / Dance

Loud, savvy and traditionally nontraditional, The B-52s are back with their first record of the 21st century. Pumping rock and dance, along with the trademark vocal interplay among Kate Pierson, Fred Scheider, Keith Strickland and Cindy Wilson, is showcased all over this album. In fact, there isn’t any point throughout the set where the mood isn’t upbeat and fun.

“Pump” and “Hot Corner” could easily be considered, respectively, as the call to action to turn up the volume and “last call for action” shout-out songs. And I can’t help but love a song with a witty lyric like “he’s a mess but he’s really pretty”. “Juliet of the Spirits” is just beautiful, describing a force of nature that should let her pleasure free—it could be a person, it could be a goddess, or both. With the vibe that’s going on here, I’d actually love to see Stevie Nicks cover it.

The constant juxtapose of the title track (and flagship single) is a fun poke at society in general right now, while “Eyes Wide Open” showcases the trademark element that’s made The B-52s a part of pop culture, with the constant vocal styling repetition that is almost hypnotic. “Deviant Ingredient” would make a great music video, and I believe this will be a crowd favorite on their tour, with lyrics like “I found my strip naked soul soup / With the deviant ingredients”.

“Keep This Party Going” ends the album in the spirit that the whole of it—and The B-52s as a band—represents, in partying and mixing punk, rock and roll, pop, new wave and dance in what could be this spring’s surprise comeback hit.


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