Somebody probably told the campiest new wave band in history, releasing their first album in 16 years, about young DJs spinning ancient tracks like Mesopotamia and Planet Claire in the clubs. So instead of rehashing Cosmic Thing for an ill-fated comeback banking on nostalgia, guitarist Keith Strickland learned Pro Tools, bought some electro records and voila: the B-52’s have a contemporary dance-rock record. Startlingly, this works.
Eyes Wide Open, for instance, has a smooth electronic beat with cowbell flourishes and Strickland’s subtle guitar riffs, while vocalists Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson trade melodies countered by Fred Schneider’s talk-singing. With all members now in their 50s (Pierson is 59), it’s interesting how sexed-up the lyrics are. On tracks like Love In The Year 3000, Deviant Ingredient and Pump, the B-52’s are throbbing in more ways than one.
The B-52’s play Molson Amphitheatre June 4.