Thursday, March 27, 2008

Return Of The Killer Bs

The B-52's latest release, "Funplex", is their first studio album in 16 years. The album picks up pretty much where the Bs left off, with "Love Shack" type tempos and party attitudes in many of the songs.

"Juliet Of The Spirits" stands out. It's no coincidence that Fred Schneider is absent on this cut. Throughout the rest of the album, Fred Schneider's voice is a distracting irritant rather than a highlight.

Walking the line between campy and cool is a difficult challenge that Fred and The B-52s have done so often I have come to expect it. But that spirited nuance is missing in Schneider's voice on this record. Too bad. "Deviant Ingredient" sounds great until Fred chimes in. Almost sounds as if he is reading off a cue card at times.

A couple of live versions round out the album. "Private Idaho" and "Planet Claire", both recorded during a show at the Roxy, prove that the B-52s can still kick it live!

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