Monday, June 27, 2011

The B-52's: Wild Planet

Review # 25
Artist: The B-52's
Title: Wild Planet
Format: LP
Label: Warner Brothers
Year: 1980
Songs: 9

I used to dislike the B-52's, but as I got older, I came to realize, the problem wasn't the B-52's, the problem was me being too earnest for my own good (and that song "Love Shack," which I still think is terrible). Make no mistake: The B-52's are ridiculous.  But that's a big part of the charm.

Will Planet is the second LP by the B-52's, and it's nine songs of silly new wave pop.  It makes me want to bob my head  from side to side in the same way that Devo does. The B-52's are not Devo, they aren't as talented or as innovative as Devo, but they hit that same spot in terms of kind of weird herky-jerky tunes with absurd and sometimes non-sequitur lyrics. They blend in some 1960s pop sounds for good measure in some of the vocals and organ-like keyboard lines that set them apart from other bands in the genre. And as far as silly lyrics go, they're hard to beat.  "Quiche Lorraine" focuses on the important subject of a green poodle named Quiche, whereas "Devil In My Car" deals with the increasingly common problem of having one's car commandeered by the Dark Lord Satan, who's aim it is to drive the car to Hell.  Apparently, he's rough on the upholstery as well.

Perhaps the best known track from this record is "Private Idaho." I can't really tell what this one is about, except for that it seems to deal with someone's extreme paranoia. Whatever the case, it's definitely one of the catchier songs on the record and I like it a lot. Another highlight is "Give Me Back My Man," which seems to contain some heartfelt emotion, telling the story of a woman trying desperately to revive a relationship, although it also ventures into silly territory as she offers him fish and candy as an incentive to return to her.

This record is fun.  I don't have deep feelings about it.  The B-52's are not a profoundly important band to me and never have been.  But when you just want something fun to play in the background, Wild Planet is a good choice. I got it for 99 cents, and at that price it's definitely a good buy.

Total songs listened: 291

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