Completely up to task in following up their kitschy debut, the B-52's step everything up a notch on their ceaselessly fun 1980 sophomore album Wild Planet: songwriting, humor, melodies, hooks, and group interplay. Wild Planet also finds the band embracing stronger psychedelic accents that seamlessly mesh with its lava-lamp colors and textures.
Rollicking, rousing, and riotous, Wild Planet soars on vocal efforts put forth by the delightfully campy chanteuses Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, whose innocent girly tonalities wonderfully match up with Fred Schneider's effeminate deliveries and manic presentations. Add in Ricky Wilson's propulsive beach-bound guitar riffs, random squealing synthesizers, and a surfeit of danceable rhythms, and you have nothing less than a '80s masterpiece that, due to its optimistic vibes and buoyant grooves, only gets better with time.
As for clever humor and quirky character? Everywhere! Mentions of an icebox, fruit punch, and surprise greetings kick off the defining "Party Out of Bounds" while "Private Idaho" is an instant mix-tape essential, sent up with declamatory refrains and insouciant beats.
Party out of Bounds
Dirty Back Road
Give Me Back My Man
Devil in My Car
53 Miles West of Venus