* * BANANARAMA. “Wow!” London. The members of Bananarama have asserted that they’re not the puppets of their producers, but on “Wow!” the trio’s bland voices are secondary to the wallop of the Euro-disco arrangements of the synth-heavy producer-player team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman. These digital dance dollies’ major concerns apparently fluctuate between sort of hitting the notes and choosing lipstick for that day’s photo shoot--which makes it pretty hard to believe them when they sing “ain’t life a bitch” in “Strike It Rich,” the ultimate yuppie pep-pop manifesto.
Still, “I Heard a Rumor” is a perky piece of techno-dance pizazz whose compulsively memorable hook is all the more unnerving for its total inanity. Elsewhere you can listen agog as the ‘Nanas fumble and under-sing their way through what should have been a perfect vehicle for them: the Supremes’ neo-psychedelic “Nathan Jones.” Maybe life can be a bitch after all. . . .