Picks and Pans Review: Whammy!
updated 06/13/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/13/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Like the hairdo they're named after, the B-52's no longer represent the cutting edge. But the group has inevitably undergone updating since its epochal 1979 first album (epochs come and go quickly in rock, but that one was known as New Wave). The most noticeable change is the increased use of electronic keyboards and synthesized percussion. In addition, the band has backed off from its former campiness a bit, though not entirely. In the tradition of Rock Lobster and Dance This Mess Around, there is Butterbean ("Some people are fat, some people are lean/But I want you to show me the person/Who doesn't like butterbeans/Yay!"). Then there's Song for a Future Generation, in which every chorus verse ends "Let's meet and have a baby now!" Queen of Las Vegas has relatively serious lyrics for a B-52 song, about a Vegas roulette croupier who is besought by her daughter to "give me your blessing /So I can be stronger." While there may be no real stylistic bombshells in the B-52's' repertoire, there aren't really any substantial snags, either.