Fun­plex The B- 52s As­traw­erks

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

IT has been 16 years since the B- 52s last re­leased an album, al­though it may feel longer, since Good Stuff was no chart match for its hit 1989 pre­de­ces­sor, Cos­mic Thing. The no­table dif­fer­ence be­tween the two was that Kate Pier­son, the most dis­tinc­tive of the band’s two fe­male vo­cal­ists, had left the group, so the sight of her on the cover of Fun­plex is cheer­ing. De­spite boast­ing one of the worst album ti­tles in re­cent me­mory, it’s an­other fun con­fec­tion from the band and it’s par­tic­u­larly great, given the new wave re­vival, to hear them re­turn­ing to their ear­lier sound in the open­ing track, Pump. That’s as Rock Lob­ster- ish as it gets. The rest of the album is more in tune with later work and it’s jaunty lis­ten­ing, even if oc­ca­sion­ally the band veers too far into self- par­ody: Love in the Year 3000 sounds like some­one pre­tend­ing to be the B- 52s. The big­gest prob­lem is that, al­though en­joy­able, no track is par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable; dis­ap­point­ing when you con­sider I’ve only just got the in­sanely catchy Love Shack out of my head, where it has been stuck for the past 19 years.

Ker­rie Mur­phy

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