Album review | Pop

Kate Pierson, ‘Guitars and Microphones’

In her mid-60s and sounding as riled up as a 20-something version of herself, Kate Pierson has released her first solo album. Ever. That’s astonishing given her deep career with the
B-52s and numerous collaborations with the likes of Iggy Pop and R.E.M. “Guitars and Microphones” is right in line with Pierson’s penchant for spiky dance pop, but it’s also a more revealing look at the atomically redheaded siren. Working with Sia Furler, who co-wrote some of the songs and is credited as executive producer, and with guest guitar riffs from the Strokes’ Nick Valensi, Pierson gets right down to business on the opening “Throw Down the Roses.” “I don’t need a microphone / To tell you I’m better off being on my own,” she sings, striking a note of resilience. “Mister Sister,” which Pierson has said is meant to “empower anyone who feels betrayed by the mirror,” is punchy and playful, and she turns inward on silvery ballads such as “Crush Me With Your Love” and “Pulls You Under.” It’s a long way from that rock lobster she once sang about but still quintessential Kate. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Throw Down the Roses”