audio review : Funplex ( album ) … The B-52s

audio review : Funplex ( album ) ... The B-52s

They got the title right. This album, which marks the return of The B-52s, including Cindy Wilson, after a long hiatus, is all about Fun. That comes mostly in the form of Dancing and Partying, though wacky wordplay at times make for sexually suggestive undertones. “There’s a G-spot,” Fred Schneider announces, “Pull the car over!”

That car might as well be a Mercury Lynx as the band, with the help of New producer Steve Osbourne, rocks out in 1980s retro fashion. The best parts are some of the catchy, at times refreshingly unconventional, hooks they stumble across along the way. The ones on Eyes Wide Open and Juliet Of The Spirits are particularly pleasing.

my rating : 3 of 5

2008

audio review : Topaz ( song ) … The B-52s

Topaz’s one glaring imperfection is that, while the first chorus section lasts sixteen bars, the second one stops at eight. It’s an artistic decision that makes for an awkward progression. Swapping them would’ve been better. The cut is repeated for the third verse; it’s half as long as the others; but that one is much more forgivable.

The song, which has The B-52s soaring ecstatically thru the universe “faster than the speed of love”, is a gem otherwise. The girls; Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson; sound delightful as they harmonize nearly every vocal in their signature style. Fred Schneider, whose vocals are limited to chorus ad-libs, also adds a nice touch.

my rating : 4 of 5

1989

audio review : Cosmic Thing ( album ) ... The B-52s

the song lyrics to Topaz by The B-52s

the song lyrics to Topaz by The B-52s

New cities by the sea.
Skyscrapers are winking.
Some hills are never seen.
The universe expanding.
We’re gazing out to sea.
Blue dolphins are singing.
Minds swim in ecstasy.
Clear planet ever free.

Topaz.
Our hearts are traveling faster.
Topaz.
Faster than the speed of love.
Topaz.
Straight thru a tear in the clouds.
Topaz.
Up to the heavens above.

Bright ships will sail the seas.
Starfishes are spinning.
Some hills are never seen.
Our universe is expanding.
Moonrise upon the sea.
Starships are blinking.
We’ll walk in ecstasy.
Clear planet blue and green.

Topaz.
Our thoughts are traveling faster.
Topaz.
Moving beyond the heavens above.

Planets pulsating, constellations creating.
Voices are guiding me to the cities by the sea.

Deep forest by the sea.
Skyscrapers are winking.
Some hills are never seen.
The universe is expanding.

Topaz.
Our hearts are traveling faster.
Topaz.
Faster than the speed of love.
Topaz.
Straight thru a tear in the clouds.
Topaz.
Up to the heavens above.

Topaz.
Our thoughts are traveling faster.
Topaz.
Faster than the speed of love.
Topaz.
Straight thru a tear in the clouds.
Topaz.
Moving beyond the heavens above.

1989

audio review : Cosmic Thing ( album ) … The B-52s

audio review : Cosmic Thing ( album ) ... The B-52s

This is only wacky space music during the first song. The rest, with the exception of Fred Schneider’s alien sprechgesang vocals, are quite Earthly. There’s talk of hot summers, bushfires, fast cars, even a Love Shack; all in the name of new wave rock music.

The best song is Topaz, a breezy delight, but the others are fun too. It’s Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson; specifically their melodic, sometimes harmonious, singing; that are the life of the party. Fred and his silly antics serve as more of an odd-man egg-on.

my rating : 4 of 5

1989