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CD Review: The B-52s

Funplex

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The Deal: Dance-rockers release first studio album in 16 years.

The Good: The band's never been known for powerful lyrics or amazing music – instead known for putting their own spin on new wave. It's pop and fun and just about everything you'd expect from The B-52s. It's as if they never missed a beat or disappeared for nearly two decades. Fred Schneider hasn't shed a bit of his flamboyance and Kate Pierson's vocals are as solid as ever. "Juliet of the Spirits," a new wave rocker which focuses on the female vocals, is one of the stronger tracks on the album and overshadows the debut title track.

The Bad: While Pierson and Cindy Wilson may have played instruments on past albums, they're only focusing on the vocals here. The B-52s were known for being fun and campy while keeping the music pretty straight-forward. On Funplex, they almost go searching for techno beats which sound overproduced (see "Eyes Wide Open"). Simple tracks like "Deviant Ingredient" and "Too Much to Think About" shine, while others such as "Love In The Year 3000" which sound more computerized, fall out of mind.

The Verdict: I can't say it's up to par with hits like "Love Shack" and "Rock Lobster," but fans of the band will be happy with the results.

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