By DAN MACINTOSH
With Change, her first full-length solo album away from the B-52s, Cindy Wilson has steered clear of any love shacks or wacky sea creatures. She has also distinctly distanced herself from the hyperactive, guitar-accented dance grooves usually associated with her veteran New Wave day job.
Instead, synthesized contemporary dance-pop appears to be her main inspiration for these 10 cool songs.
New Sound for Cindy Wilson
Indeed, it’s a revelation to hear Wilson sing with the breathy tone applied to “Sunrise.” She’s not trying to drag your butt out on the dance floor, instead she’s attempting and succeeding at getting under your skin. “Sunrise” is a slow burn groove, characterized by shuffled percussion and layered female vocals. It’s more late-night meditation, than thumping Saturday night fever.
Bright, bold synth lines introduce “Mystic,” a track that imagines a prettier, feminine Gary Numan. The B-52s have always come off like a ’60s garage rock band dressed in ’80s clothes. With Change, though, Wilson has surrounded herself with a bevy of contemporary dance elements.
‘Change’ by Cindy Wilson
Subtle sounds — like those found throughout this album — have never been a factor in B-52s music, which is why this other side of Wilson’s music is special. Wilson is a delicate flower, surrounded by rays of aural sunshine. She’s just never had this kind of sonic forum within B-52s. Change finds this lovely flower fully in bloom.
New Sounds for 1980s Singer
One called “Brother,” however, hearkens back to Wilson’s musical roots. The drums rock out like a British Invasion raver, while the guitars pump up the volume with an enjoyable touch of dissonance. But even within all this beautiful rock noise, Wilson’s voice remains one cool customer.
Wilson’s bandmate Fred Schneider, sounds like a carnival barker, whether leading B-52s or fronting his side project The Superions. Not so with Wilson, though. Change is not just a handy album name, but is also an accurate descriptor for Cindy Wilson’s delightful solo music, and one welcome change of pace.