July 12, 2013 3:43 pm

Pet Shop Boys: Electric

The duo reveal an undimmed knack for penning clever, catchy pop songs
 

Annoyed by an iTunes customer review of their last album Elysium demanding “more banging and lasers” the Pet Shop Boys have stomped back less than a year later with the anti-Elysium, a record that inhabits the opposite pole to its predecessor’s air of luxuriant late-middle-age.

Electric sets the glitterball spinning with the Kraftwerk-style instrumental “Axis”, then Neil Tennant glides into view with a coolly self-possessed vocal about love in “Bolshy” set to wonderfully upbeat disco-house and yes, a fusillade of lasers. Chris Lowe’s synthesisers are given added vibrancy by Madonna producer Stuart Price, dance-floor rejuvenator of flagging 1980s pop stars, while the duo reveal an undimmed knack for penning clever, catchy pop songs.

“Love Is a Bourgeois Construct” quotes Michael Nyman’s theme for the film The Draughtsman’s Contract and satirises middle-class aspirations – all with a pumping Giorgio Moroder bass line snaking around it. If proof were needed that Lowe and Tennant still have the appetite for the fight after 32 years together and over 50m record sales, Electric provides it in spades. As does the fact they monitor iTunes customer reviews of their work.


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