The B-52's, ''Funplex'' (Astralwerks) Bang, bang, bang on the door, baby. It's The B-52's knocking, and they want you to know they're still around huggin', kissin', dancin' and lovin'. More importantly, they're still creating quirky party music with funky lyrics that make little to no sense and beats that usually only convey one emotion: joy.
''Funplex'' is the B-52's first album with all new material since 1992's ''Good Stuff.'' There's nothing complex or all that modern about this collection of 11 songs from the new wave foursome - Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland - who famously brought back beehive hairdos in the '80s. Let's face it. The B-52's will never make another ''Love Shack.'' The title track of ''Funplex,'' an eccentric ditty about a magical shopping mall or, um, something like that, comes closest to such nostalgia. This time, the freewheeling spirit is more electrified, but the band's signature funky sound never gets lost.
Strickland sizzles in all the right spots while the band's three vocalists continue to have a madcap Fleetwood Mac-like chemistry, bouncing off each other with jarring melodies that should come off as shrill but never do. Luckily, it feels like Wilson, who took time off from the band in the '90s, never left.
However, The B-52's do take time to briefly recognize the world has changed since their '90s heyday with the somewhat somber ''Too Much to Think About.'' That song comes two tracks after the band envisions a future of robots, bootybots and erotobots in the ultra spacy ''Love in the Year 3000.'' No, the B-52's are not living in the moment with ''Funplex,'' but that's what's so fun about it.
By DERRIK J. LANG AP Entertainment Writer
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