Ballet scores and mid-paced meditations on life seemed to mark the mutation of the Pet Shop Boys into elder statesmen of pop, no longer troubled by the need to sustain the tempo – in both senses – of the contemporary hit parade.
And yet, something clearly didn’t sit right with Tennant and Lowe, resulting in their most energetic and relentlessly hands-in-the-air music in 20 years. While familiar musical tropes abound, this is not that last vestige of the desperate fame-hunter: limp re-treads of what has gone before.
Instead, the twisted disco and warped pop that underpin everything great about ‘Electric’ are a clear sign that the duo is far from done. The addition of Stuart Price on production proves a masterstroke, and ‘Love Is A Bourgeois Construct’ alone is enough to render all existing PSB Greatest Hits albums incomplete.
Dramatic strings, dubby basslines and a quick burst of male voice choir seem a perfectly logical backdrop for one of Neil’s finest lyrics of the album: the track’s a 21st century disco break-up smash.
By the time it shreds itself in the final minute, it’s hard to believe the duo had ever seemed a little tired. They’re reborn, revitalised, and really rather good.
Words: Gareth James
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