Pet Shop Boys
Three and a half stars
Key Tracks: ‘Love Etc,’ ‘All Over the World’
Immediately after the first listen, you know this is going to be one of the most underrated albums of the year. The Pet Shop Boys are far from the world they know in today’s music scenario where horrors like Lady Gaga rule the airwaves, but the granddaddies of pop show these irresponsible upstarts how pop can still be witty, ironical and intelligent while not compromising on the music, with sarcasm-laden lyrics like “Don’t have to live a life of power and wealth/Don’t have to be beautiful, but it helps” (”˜Love Etc’). ”˜All Over The World’ is a throwback to the sunny days of Very, full of lush orchestration and infectious synthesised hand-claps, while ”˜Did You See Me Coming’ brings the dance home on disco beats and textured synths. ”˜King of Rome’ wears heartbreak thin after the fizziness of the preceding tracks but heartache finds feet in the introspective sadness and flounce of ”˜The Way It Used To Be.’ The albums loses ground in the faux-grandeur of ”˜Legacy’ and ”˜Build A Wall’ is ponderous at best but these are minor weak links in the Pet Shop Boys’ greatest album since 1993’s Very. Pop superproducers Xenomania help Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe package their wit and irony into pretty packages with bows to go; here’s hoping it doesn’t disappear in the deluge of tripe sold as pop music today.