Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are in the mood to dance. As Pet Shop Boys, the two have been pairing commentary on the ups and downs of love, nightlife, politics and history with lush pop compositions for nearly 30 years. The quantity and quality of their output is staggering — LPs, compilations, film scores, plays, a ballet, books, one-off singles and production work for other artists fill their vast catalog — and the UK duo’s 12th studio album Electric (out July 16 – pre-order here) stands among their best. (Believe me: “Axis” and “Vocal” are only the tip of the iceberg.) If you’ve been on the market for music to punctuate your upcoming summer nights, Neil and Chris have delivered in spades with this nine-track set.
That the beat-filled album was produced by fellow Brit Stuart Price (Madonna‘s Confessions On A Dancefloor, The Killers‘ Day & Age, etc.) shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Boys have been circling around him for years. Their remix of Madonna’s Confessions single “Sorry” preceded the Price-produced medley they performed at the 2009 BRIT Awards, and Stuart’s reworking of last year’s “Memory Of The Future.”
What is noteworthy is that the upbeat Electric will arrive less than a year after their previous LP, last fall’s pensive Elysium. It’s also the first Pet Shop Boys album to be released on their own label, x2 (pronounced “times two”), through Kobalt Label Services, after ending their longtime association with EMI/Parlophone .
I had a lengthy talk with Neil and Chris about Electric in May, in which they explained, at times hilariously so, the making of the album and the inspirations for many of their rhythm-driven new songs. Dive into the interview below. More »