Monday, March 30, 2009

PET SHOP BOYS review on JC Report

Pet Shop Boys' new album Yes is arguably their best recording this side of the millennium. Fresh from receiving a Lifetime Achievement prize at the Brit Awards, they're sticking to the formula that's made them such a lasting influence, while keeping things fresh.

Having famously collaborated with everyone from Dusty Springfield and Liza Minnelli since their '86 debut, the Boys don't break their groupie stride with Yes. The album features The Smiths' Johnny Marr on guitar duties and Xenomania, the production team behind Girls Aloud's 19 hit singles, are responsible for most of the pop melodies.

Sticking to their art-meets-pop formula, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe let loose with eager exuberance. Single "Love Etc" perfectly illustrates their combined musical aesthetic with synth hooks, larger-than-life choir chorus and a strangely animated video. As with 2006's Fundamental, they also play up their intellectual predilections. On "All Over The World" Tennant's Tchaikovsky-inspired lyrics meet techno beats, while "More Than A Dream" continues the political theme, but puts Barack Obama in the hot seat in place of Tony Blair. But it's not all politics; both "Vulnerable" and "The Way It Used To Be" are draped in melancholia, lost love and open wounds.

Tennant and Lowe are talented enough to make both high-energy disco stompers and sad but euphoric melodies—a testament of versatility that further confirms Pet Shop Boys lasting claim to fame.

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—David Hellqvist

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