ALBUM REVIEW: Super by Pet Shop Boys

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 1/4

TRACKLIST: Happiness; The Pop Kids; Twenty-Something; Groovy; The Dictator Decides; Pazzo!; Inner Sanctum; Undertow; Sad Robot World; Say It To Me; Burn; Into Thin Air.

30 years ago Pet Shop Boys’ debut hit (not their 1st single, actually) went to number 1 in the UK, US, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Israel, New Zealand and Norway.

  • Read on for details of the new Pet Shop Boys tour

Welcome to the Boys’ 13th album proper. It’s very much the fully realised version of their previous album Electric which was also produced by Stuart Price (Madonna’s Confessions On A Dancefloor, Kylie’s Aphrodite and Scissor Sisters’ Night Work).

Where Electric was predominantly club bangers, Super builds on that premise and fleshes it out with the occasional slower electronic song that is not out of place.

90s’ club beats are the template for the majority of the set with recent single The Pop Kids perhaps best exemplifying the mix of euphoric disco and nostalgic lyrics: ‘They called us The Pop Kids ‘cos we loved the pop hits and quoted the best bits.’

It’s an album designed with touring in mind and the Boys have announced a four date residency at London’s Coliseum, home of the English National Opera, in July (details at the bottom of this review). A pop-up store in east London means fans can also go S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G for band-related merch there.

Super wouldn’t be a Pet Shop Boys’ album proper without some grandiose lyric reflecting on political history and so we have The Dictator Decides with marching drumbeat, chanting, the sound of gunfire and: ‘Today I met with the generals, the head of my secret police, discussing conspiracies and prison facilities for opponents I could never release.’

It’s on the slower material where the band sound most like 90s indie pop genius Momus.

Penultimate track Burn (‘We’re gonna Burn this disco down until the morning comes’) is a pop stomper to rank among the duo’s best. Those London Coliseum Inner Sanctum shows are going to be quite the banging and celebratory occasions.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Pet Shop Boys. Coliseum tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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