Husband and wife Pat and Barbara MacDonald from Austin, Texas, got raves and became college-radio faves in 1986 with "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," a sarcastic swipe at '80s greed. They never hit Top 20 pay dirt again, but they continued to churn out more wry, if inconsistent, sketches on modern life.
Timbuk3 has rejiggered their sound for the '90s with a more bottom-heavy rhythm section. There's the punchy funk of the opening cut "Sunshine Is Dangerous," a pessimist's version of a love song. Barbara takes the macho, hormone-driven concept of romance and turns it on its ear on "Just Wanna Funk with Your Mind," singing lines like "I don't wanna tie you up/ I don't wanna treat you like a pup."
Unfortunately, the dance grooves get a little stale, but the MacDonalds still sound assured on acoustic gems like "Prey," a jab at religious zealots. It's that effortless, barbed wit that has helped Timbuk3 keep their perspective and stay in the game. (High Street)