2. Pet Shop Boys – Electric
Pet Shop Boys are a sort of Dorian Gray of pop music. Sure, the boys are getting older, but their music still sounds young. Last year’s Eylsium was a despondent affair full of the melancholy of getting old seemingly produced to fulfill their long-standing contract with Parlophone. In the meantime, they had started work on forming their own label x2 which in turn seems to have shaken all the woe away. Electric is just that. This is a 9-track, 50-minute celebration of doing what they love: getting people’s asses on the dance floor. Unlike their contemporaries, PSB have become masters at the tongue-in-cheek, ironic approach to their subject matter which has always given their blips and washes of electronic waves much more weight than most. “Love Is a Bourgeois Construct” may sound like an elitist, artsy title, but the Boys are much more complex than that. One listen to the lyrics and it becomes apparent the song is downright hilarious: “I’ve been thinking how I can’t be bothered/To wash the dishes or remake the bed/What’s the point when I could doss instead?” Elsewhere you’ll find an incredible Bruce Springstein cover (“The Last to Die”) and an honest-to-goodness rap break by Example on “Thursday”. However, the true joy comes at the end. “Vocal” drops all pretense of the sly wink and becomes an anthem of sincerity. Here in a six-and-a-half-minute song Chris and Neil make you believe Electric is exactly what they want to be doing: “And everything about tonight feels right and so young/And anything I’d want to say out loud will be sung,” Neil sings with love and joy. This is their kind of music and, from now on, they will be doing it exactly how they want.
Favorite songs: “Axis” | “Bolshy” | “Shouting in the Evening” | “Vocal”