Do Bananarama ever really go away? It seems every time they release a new album, they immediately get branded as the "comeback" queens. Sure their last album "Drama" was released late 2005, but taking a three year break in-between albums isn't that uncommon for pop legends now is it? And pop legends are exactly what Bananarama are.
Bananarama's latest triumph "Viva" is pure electro-pop joy. Totally relevant for today's contemporary music scene which sees electro-pop standing up for itself and being counted in almost every song in the UK charts these days from Tinchy Stryder, to the The Saturdays, to Black Eyed Peas, from Lady Gaga to Frankmusik, from La Roux to Little Boots. Bananarama are smart. They know that the sound they have always cashed in on is what's selling again in today's music market – and that releasing a new album would seem like the right move to make.
Some might argue that "Viva" is a bit same-ish in it's composure. Every song is electro-pop. There is no swaying from the formula here at all. But what makes this album fun is that it's pure Bananarama – from it's totally synchronized vocals, to the almost tributary sound that made them internationally famous in the 80s, to the frenzied dance floor electricity that exuburates on "Seventeen" to the totally fresh cover of iio's "Rapture" – a true nu-retro gem on the album. However in this hot pot of electro-pop goodness, there is one track called "S-S-S Single Bed" which stands out from the rest…it's so un-Bananarama that it kinda makes you ponder why they put it on there – You'll have to listen to the album to understand what I'm talking about here – but it's a cute track.
Is "Viva" groundbreaking? The answer is no. It's exactly what you expect from Bananarama and that's not a bad thing at all. I like consistency. Especially when consistency always churns out a hot little number like current single "Love Comes". For me, "Viva" is a welcome listen and worth the trip down electric avenue. If you're a fan of Bananarama, you'll love it. If you're a newer, younger fan, well then "Viva" will sit nicely next to your Girls Aloud and The Saturdays cds.
"Viva" is released on September 14th and available for pre-order on iTunes.