This is tough. When Loreena McKennitt emerged with her new album after a 10 year gap, half of the album was great, and the other was "ok". The B-52's are back with a full length studio album, their first in 16 years. Wow, 16 years is practically a generation! I am writing this as an ardent fan, I own all their albums, a smattering of singles, rarities, books, etc. But I am honest, too. So, the Funplex... Fred is still in good voice and everyone is in a party mood. But is this a Party Out of Bounds?
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!