Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

B-52's: Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation [Warner Bros., 1998]
The B-52's I bonded with at Max's and CBGB were an art band who epitomized the lost bohemian ideal of camp as love--embodied it so fully that after unspeakable adversity they became the thing they took off on and from. But while I could cavil about edgier song choices and '90s shortfall and their firstest was their bestest, I know that their chosen legacy honors the band that belongs to the ages and the masses--the pop band that still launches keg parties on Myrtle Beach and sells khakis at the Gap. From "Private Idaho" to "Good Stuff," songs I've never cared for are pure fun here. So are songs I've always adored. And the main thing wrong with the two new ones is that they're not fit to shine the spaceship of 1992's visionary "Is That You Mo-Dean?" Personal to all tailgaters: the debut's really cool. Er, hot. What you said. A