Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

B-52's: Whammy! [Warner Bros., 1983]
Though they still pick up some great ideas at interplanetary garage sales, their celebration of the pop mess-around is getting earthier. "Whammy Kiss" and "Butterbean" do actually concern sex and food, respectively, while "Legal Tender" and "Queen of Las Vegas" show off a healthy respect for money--that is, a disrespectful attraction to its alluring usefulness. "Song for a Future Generation" is a completely affectionate, completely undeluded look at the doomed, hopeful, cheerfully insincere dreams and schemes of the kids who dance to B-52's songs. And the Yoko Ono tribute is for real. A-