Even if the name Cindy Wilson doesn’t ring any bells for you it is still fairly likely that you’re somewhat familiar with her work. After all, she has spent her four-decade-long music career as a core member of the idiosyncratic new-wave/pop-rock outfit the B-52’s, and tracks like Rock Lobster, Roam, and Love Shack by the group are virtually inescapable. Despite being integral to the B-52’s sound and songwriting process, Wilson has avoided having her début solo album, Change, sound like the B-52’s lite, instead offering listeners a collection of ten songs that confidently display their own sound and character.
Opening track, People Are Asking, with its airy vocals – which stand in contrast to the more powerful vocal deliveries typical of the B-52’s – counterpointing the song’s grounded beat and pleasing groove. The group of young musicians the sixty-year-old Wilson has accreted around herself as her collaborators acquit themselves impeccably throughout the album, ensuring the danceability of a song like No One Can Tell You – which successfully couples the odd combination of funky guitar and edgy violin – and coherency of Mystic’s bent synth melodies.
As an album, Change is admirably consistent in quality and tightly focused in character, but this results in a record that largely drifts into the background, existing as quirky easy-listening. Only two tracks stand out for more than an instant, the titular Change and Brother. Change because it behaves as an instrumental piece, with the vocal contributions utilised as just another instrument with the only clearly articulated word being “change”, while Brother – a cover of the Oh-OK song – adds a garage-band edge to the tonality that dominates the album and the results are most pleasing. Even though Change is unlikely to change your life, it still remains thirty-eight minutes well spent.