x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Pet Shop Boys add life to the party with Electric

A big, bright, splashy collection of heavily electronic party anthems.

Pet Shop Boys

Electric

(X2)

****

 

The past 12 months have brought big changes for the veteran British electro-pop duo Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, ending their contact with the EMI label after almost 30 years and 50 million in album sales. Still chasing the perfect hedonistic pop rush despite being deep into middle age, the duo launch their own label with this bright, splashy collection of heavily electronic party anthems. The former Madonna producer Stuart Price adds galloping beats and busy digital effects to neon-lit, club-friendly stompers such as Vocal, Axis and Fluorescent. Tennant also indulges his signature literary wit on Love is a Bourgeois Construct, a heady cocktail of lush techno, classical music samples and brainy lyrics. Not every track is vintage PSB, hitting a low point when the London rapper Example drops in for a clunky cameo on the largely forgettable Thursday. That said, Price’s vivid production elevates most of the material, even the thinner songs. The album’s unexpected twist is a roaring cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s anti-war number The Last to Die, which radiates real passion and drama.

* Stephen Dalton

 

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