Pet Shop Boys
Electric


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
July 16th, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 07/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Everything about tonight feels right and so young"

Right from the beginning of their career, the Pet Shop Boys have always been concerned about reputation and commercial success. They've maintained a certain degree of fame over the years, although at some point ended up painting themselves into a corner while struggling to deliver fresh material. After the mixed reception of the more mature, contemplative Elysium, they immediately returned to the studio to create a stronger follow-up. Even if last year's effort was mostly hit and miss, it was the expected sound coming from a band whose members push 60 years old. Of course, mediocrity and irrelevancy were the last things the Pet Shop Boys would accept, as they've always set to defy expectations, knowing their own strengths.

So, dropping Electric less than a year after, the band feels surprisingly revitalized. Focused to recreate what feels like a night out in the club, there's a full palette of old school techno, trance and even rave sounds merged into what feels like a late '80s - early '90s dance music tribute. This time, however, the music has more room to develop, vocalist Neil Tennant often keeping his contribution to a minimum.

As a whole, Electric is a pretty straightforward affair, built to offer a good time, instead of being dissected and interpreted. Tennant's lyrics are sharp as usual, whether pouring his heart out or celebrating the club culture. There are some infectious grooves here, found on tracks such as 'Vocal', 'Fluorescent' and 'Inside A Dream', which strike a chord to old school fans that caught the original techno wave a couple of decades ago. They are all club oriented and filled with sound pads and samples of the respective era. At the same time, 'Love Is A Bourgeois Construct' is classic Pet Shop Boys. Accompanying Tennant's lovely vocal melody, Chris Lowe's synthesizers also echo the band's highly successful late 80s output. Even the anthemic Bruce Springsteen cover, 'The Last To Die' has been converted into a big party number, perfectly preceding the energetic, rave influenced 'Shouting In The Evening'.

Although it's a great record and a welcomed comeback to their origins, at the end of the day, to some, Electric might sound outdated. Still, it's beautifully crafted and captures the essence of the Pet Shop Boys, this being the main reason the album deserves a shot. In an attempt to prevent dilution and to prove they aren't willing to rest on their laurels, PTB tried to keep the essential, club oriented tracks only, ignoring the slight angularity that might be revealed in the process. Fans, as well as old school dance enthusiasts will enjoy Electric most, mainly due to nostalgia and the catchy hooks, while the young audience will probably stick to their current affairs. Nevertheless, the band doesn't let their age slow them down, their sole aim being to continue to party.



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never thought I'd be reviewing a Pet Shop Boys record, but this is great.

Love Is A Bourgeois Construct - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7w0eqUBp3c
Vocal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNR8gQAoYCs
Fluorescent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQlS5iprNRU
The Last To Die - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__RdJtpmIZE
Inside A Dream - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz1KSxk35cU
Shouting In The Evening - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz1KSxk35cU
Axis - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDCU17wXktY
Thursday - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwuXKqvp63E
Bolshy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz9WuKN4BGY

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2013


6344 Comments


Good review.


Back in the (very old...) day, I used to spin "It's A Sin" copiously.

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks. yeah, many years ago i was listening to their music. also, bad boys blue were 80s favorites of mine. after i saw Bronson, i started listening to It's A Sin again haha.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2013


7427 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review's good but there are a few errors, the most obvious being "Even if their ( delete) last year's effort was mostly hit or (and) miss."

I'm really like this, Bolshy especially.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for pointing out. I like Vocal and Love Is A Bourgeois Construct most.

bloc
July 16th 2013


35024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is actually really good, given the quality of the stuff before this. I am very surprised.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, their latest works have a few good songs and a lot of average material. This, however, is a lot more consistent and enjoyable.

Eloriaz
July 17th 2013


725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haven't heard this one yet but I will do soon! I started from the beginnings and they have such a
huuuge discog. I'm done with Please and Actually for now.

Digging: Clarity - Infinite

Eloriaz
July 17th 2013


725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also: PSB love on Sputnik, hooray! ^_^

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't managed to check out all their records either. I'm glad this turned out to be a great record because it's a mix of their early material and the Disco record.

someguest
July 17th 2013


21390 Comments


I'll have to check this out.

Digging: Pet Shop Boys - Please

DutchDevotee
August 6th 2013


37 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

PSB is a strange band I keep coming back to. Absolutely loved the album Fundamental from 2006, but forgot about them after that, mainly due to the lack of quality of Yes and Elysium. This one is kinda enjoyable, but still far away from the big highlights (Fundamental and Behaviour).

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm a fan of their early stuff and this is their only recent record that got me interested in listening to them again. You should give this a second chance, maybe it'll grow more on you.

Serra
August 31st 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Electric makes you think that if the Boys really want it, they can still deliver some of the best pop songs in the world, just listen to the Last to Die, the Springsteen cover, and try to remain distanced to it.It is infectious, its build-up is astonishing and those la la la la's are simply a small but a very clever touch, which I am sure very few current pop acts would be able to imagine.

I just think all albums since post-Very to Yes all reflect the experimental sides of the Boys without putting much distance from their original sound that's why the road up to Electric is a little bit bumpy (although Yes was quite good and Bilingual is still an overlooked gem) but Electric is really a showcase for the Band and a treasure for long time fans. Axis, Fluorescent, The Last to Die and Inside a Dream are instant classics. Five out of Five

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2013


3505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have yet to hear their 90s and early 00s records as a whole, but I really enjoy Electric most. Fluorescent, Vocal, Love Is A Bourgeois Construct, Last To Die and Inside A Dream are really good tunes indeed.

Eloriaz
September 6th 2013


725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So yeah, this is fantastic. Almost 30 years old in the Boys still have an ear for catchy, warmfelt and
interesting dance music. It's definitely in my top 10 (or top 15) of the year for electronic music.

Eloriaz
December 2nd 2013


725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Electronic dance AOTY.

Love Is A Bourgeois Construct is up there with West End Girls.

Eloriaz
December 3rd 2013


725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Absolutely rules.

TheSilentObserver
December 23rd 2013


83 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Beast.



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