Funplex The B- 52s Astrawerks
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.