Album Review: Pet Shop Boys - Electric

9 August 2013 | 10:12 am | Mac McNaughton

Price’s neon signature illuminates every minute of Electric. It’s sure to please, actually.

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Just 18 months ago, the London synthpop heroes charmed with their silkily introspective 11th release Elysium. What it lacked in oomph, it delivered in savoir-faire. Come 2013 and enter super-producer Stuart Price (Madonna, Les Rhythmes Digitales) to bring out their bad behaviour and remind us that a fabulous electro-pop groove is fundamental to a truly great Pet Shop Boys album. Neil Tennant hasn't sounded this loud and proud since, yes, the Very days and Price seems to have successfully distilled that album's pride with the amyl-sting of its companion techno album, Relentless. The electro-urgency of opener Axis, the deep-house and pumping throb of Inside A Dream or Shouting In the Evening and the massive Ibiza superclub sound of Vocal see the boys dominating the nightlife once again.

While it's been a while since we've had a truly classic PSB single, here are two absolute belters. Bolshy goes all out on early '90s house piano. It's like Kraftwerk discovering the best gay club in the world. Tennant even gets dirty and coy, flirting with a bilingual lover teasing in a sweaty monotone, “There you are pretending you love me” while Chris Lowe builds up to an orgasmic peak... oh. It's followed by Love Is A Bourgeois Construct, the most addictive song they've done since Go West with an intentionally similar and equally infectious disco fanfare throughout. After listening to three hours of Tool one day, that bloody fanfare riff was still in my head. Now that's a great pop song!

Price's neon signature illuminates every minute of Electric. It's sure to please, actually.