Pet Shop Boys
The Pet Shop Boys return with an album that proves that even a couple of old geezers from the ‘80s can still be relevant and totally rock the dancefloor. Their last album Elysium was a subdued affair that featured the kind of bittersweet meditations about growing old that would give most skinny-jeaned hipsters looking for dance kicks an uneasy case of the I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Any Mores.
Axis introduces Electric with an instrumental Italo-disco banger that references Moroder, Daft Punk and Kraftwerk amongst others but which still sounds like something only PSB could deliver. It is a gleaming, futuristic monster of track that allows Chris Lowe to run amok but he meets his match at the end of the album with Vocal, during which Neil Tennant remains true to his pop roots and asserts the importance of songwriting. In between these bookends, producer Stuart Price ensures that Electric keeps moving at a brisk pace while the Boys rework and remix ideas and templates introduced across their career’s entire duration into something that feels totally fresh. It all comes together perfectly on Love Is A Bourgeois Construct, which overflows with orchestral synth stabs; dreamy, sumptuous DX synth sounds; male choirs that bring to mind Go West; and a certain pretentiousness that drolly allows them to craft hooks from samples of Purcell’s opera King Arthur while name-checking Marx. Later, Shouting In The Evening gets in and amongst it celebrating decadent nights out clubbing with relentless beats and bass.
The Boys are back in town with a master class in synth pop that suggests retirement is for old folks.
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