The B-52’s, ‘Funplex’ (Astralwerks)
Sixteen years have passed since these Athens, Georgia natives last pondered love, sex, and outer space over untamed dance beats. Here, they refresh all their tricks, with stripped-down, energetic guitar plus lithe electronics. “Pump,” “Hot Corner,” and the title track use scampy rhythms that, in places, escalate into melodic headbanging as Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson harmonize with haute-Kmart verve. Other tunes are more refined, sometimes fusing melodies that could be from different songs, as on the freewheeling “Dancing Now.” And as always, the B’s manage to yell out nonsense like “Tell your skirt to take a hike!” and still remain cool.