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Japanese pressing of their first full-length in 16 years! Along with producer Steve Osborne (New Order, Happy Mondays, Doves) the band have created a new album as cutting edge, distinctive & danceable as their debut album in 1979. This version includes CSS Remix version of 'Funplex' as bonus track. EMI. 2008.
Like a time capsule, the B-52s' first album in 16 years reanimates that familiar fusion of danceable post-punk and bizarrely conceived songs of the oldest new wave. After sitting out 1992s Good Stuff, Cindy Wilson returns to the love shack, joining fellow bee-hiver Kate Pierson on mouth-watering vocals and harmonies circa Wild Planet. Colossal hooks jostle relentless rhythms, oddball lyrics, and the outrageous voice of Fred Schneider, who struts like a peacock through this infectious 11-track mix of frolic and frivolity. The songs are inspired by Fellini movies (Juliet of the Spirits), Athens, Georgia lore (Hot Corner), and the shopping mall (Funplex), and thanks to the bands melody creator, Keith Strickland, they shimmy, shake, and house-quake all night long. Out of the blue and virtually as fun as a party out of bounds, Funplex is a dee-lightful reunion record. --Scott Holter
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Top Customer Reviews
"Pump" is a more-than-appropriate opener as it kicks into high-gear immediately. The guitar hook makes you almost feel like Ricky Wilson is still alive, and the whole song has a somewhat "darker" edge to it.
"Hot Corner" is this album's "Love Shack", a great party tune with fun lyrics such as "Hey y'all, last call, last chance to dance". Fred and the girls work together perfectly here.
"Ultraviolet" seems a bit unfocused and all over the map upon first listen, but it does grow on you. Who can resist Fred singing "Keep doing what you're doing cause you're doing it right"?
"Juliet of the Spirits" is perhaps my favorite song on this CD. It is one of two low-key tracks here where Kate and Cindy really shine. Their harmonies are so perfectly dreamy, it almost makes you feel as though you are levitating. There are definitely elements of "Dirty Back Road" apparent in this track, which may explain why I like it so much.
Cindy Wilson really stands out in the title track, "Funplex" which also features some of the funniest lyrics on the CD. "Faster Pussycat, thrill, thrill", and "I'm your daytime waitress, here's your stupid 7-UP".
Interesting techno intros make way for more great Kate/Cindy harmonies on both "Eyes Wide Open" and the futuristic "Love in the Year 3000".
The second of my favorite tracks is the laid-back and soothing "Deviant Ingredient" [see also "Juliet of the Spirits"]. Even the usually-manic Fred sounds like he popped a valium before recording this. We even get a clever helicopter sound effect.Read more ›
Good come back , yes.
Worth buying, yes.
Classic B-52s sound ? Not quite, but close enough.
This is more like a gift to the exisitng fans & doesn't aim at creating a new generation of fans.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The first thing I noticed was the music, from note one it was great! Three songs later it still sounds like the same song. That's how you keep the party going. They all are in good voice! I can still distinguish Kate and Cindy, welcome back Cindy!! Two things struck me that were very different from the other albums. 1. Electronics are more on the foreground now. Beats, beeps and whistles and all. Good stuff (wink). 2. Sex. There are a lot of sexual innuendos going on in the lyrics! More than ever! Look no further than "Ultraviolet"! Fred belts "let's hit the G Spot!" and "tell your skirt to take a hike!". Over the top, funny and fun.
"Juliet of the Spirits" is a nice number from the girls and Cindy can still reach those high notes that have been showcased in songs like "Girl from Ipanema goes to Greenland" and "Deadbeat Club". The album's best moment comes with "Deviant Ingredient". Just perfect!!! Sounds like a lost song from BOUNCING OFF SATELITES!. Great lyrics, chemistry, energy, swingy and kitschy! "Funplex" the title track and first single is a great party tune, about a mall... or a state of mind, not sure.
All in all FUNPLEX is a great album and the future generations of the B-52's are gonna party like it's the year 3000! The Kings of the Zulus and Daughters of Dracula are still partymonsters and will provide you the vibes!! So sit back in that outer space chair, drink that Mojito, wear that shiny poly blend, and wear those sunglasses on top of your head!
FUNPLEX in five words:
Hypnotic, Harmonic, Sparkling, Dizzy and Futuristic!
band has put out an excellent new record. The Band sounds in top
form on this collection, Cindy Wilson is back in the line-up and
Keith Strickland has taken his time with the help of producer
Steve Osborne and come up with a futuristic, modern, spin on dance rock
with a new wavish touch that does not dissapoint. Kate & Cindy sound awesome harmonizing together
and Fred's vocal interplays stand right out in the mix, always something
off the wall to listen to. Sexual situations clash with their
best music since they first started making records, this one's for everyones
collection. Pump starts the party off right and other highlights,
Eyes wide open, Juliet of the Spirits, Funplex, Hot Corner, Deviant Ingredient,
Dancing Now, hold you in their spell to the closer Keep this party going
making this a B-52s classic. Its great to have these guys back with
some fresh new music.
Keith Strickland has the impossible job of compensating for the absence of Ricky Wilson, and it has to be said that he is the main brain behind the reinvention of the band. In his minimalism, Ricky Wilson was a fantastic guitarist. "Funplex" is the first post-Ricky album to capture the riff-happy playfulness of his style, and the album has a buoyancy and lift that "Cosmic Thing" and (especially) "Good Stuff" lack. It seems Strickland has learned from Ricky Wilson to keep it simple, straightforward, and energized.
There is nothing around today that sounds this exuberant. I'm thrilled that the B-52's are back, but it is something of a sad commentary that music nowadays, for the most part, simply isn't fun like this. Just because it's "party music" doesn't mean it isn't or can't be important (think Motown during the early 1960s). Yes, the B-52's are political (not that Amazon is the place to make that argument).
When I heard Steve Osborne was producing, I cringed a bit. He was ideal for New Order, but the B-52's sensibility seemed antithetical to the extremely polished tendencies of Osborne. I was totally wrong; Keith Strickland's choice to work with him was a stroke of genius (if only other vintage acts would make such a move). Osborne and the band really meet each other halfway, a truly inspired collaboration.
To really appreciate the production value of the album, you need to listen to it in full stereo on a more-than-decent system (it sounds muddy in my car and overly compressed on my mp3 player).
It amazes me how some people make their minds up so quickly, and have decided that the album is something of a letdown without really letting it grow on them. Remember, it took "Cosmic Thing" months to catch on. I have found that the more I've listened to it, the better it has gotten. The songs I initially didn't care for ("Dancing Now," "Deviant Ingredient") have become my favorites. Just no pleasing those dimestore critics out there, I guess.
I don't mean to sound greedy, but this can't be their last album...
The sound reminded me of their second album, WILD PLANET, because it's more "dance rock" than GOOD STUFF and it's not as "arranged" as COSMIC THING.
Think of "Dirty Back Road" transformed into 2008 and you'll know what to expect.
And I'm happy to say that I really liked the ENTIRE CD -- every song makes the iPod!
In these troubled times, thank you Bs for bringing some FUN back into music!
"Funplex" is their first album in some 16 years and is much more of what we've come to expect from the band, and despite the heavy use of synthesizers and heavy beats, the album still manages to transport one back to a time when bouffant hairdos and miniskirts ruled. Musicianship is top notch, and the inspiration for the more electronic sound was apparently New Order.
The sound is dancey, with loads of jangly surf guitars, shout-and-reply refrains, and copious use of silly words like "shimmy". Opening cut "Pump" is a prime example. Others along this line are "Hot corner", the jangly "Ultraviolet", title track "Funplex" (jagged guitars against a bubby synth bassline - my favourite), "Too much to think about", the extremely catchy "Dancing now" (with a fuzzy bassline) and the sunny "Keep this party going".
Slowing the tempo down but not by too much are the buzzing "Juliet of the spirits" (lovely harmonies making them sound like a sixties girl group), the plodding eighties sounding "Eyes wide open", the groovy "Love in the year 3000" (another favourite of mine), and "Deviant ingredient" (which finds Fred Schneider yelling silly words like "Bootybots" and "Erotobots" at intervals). There are no real ballads to dampen the fun party mood.
"Funplex" is a real fun album which more than lives up to its name.