Finishing off what has been an amazing year for the Pet Shop Boys, December sees them releasing this brilliant 5-track Christmas EP. First off is a new version of It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas, a track originally released in 1997 as a fan-club exclusive. It's full of festive cheer with bells and all! Upbeat and full of classic PSB humour, it's a charming little track.
My Girl is even better, a cover of the classic Madness track. Beefed up from the original demo appearing on the Boys' site in 2008, the chorus is perfection. We also get the extended `Our House' mix later on the EP which ups the dance vibe and adds some trancey synth hooks in.
Appearing as in many ways the 4th single from the Boys' Yes album we get a new version of the amazing All Over The World. Personally i prefer the original version but this one suits the Christmas feel of the EP with a new, dreamy string section. It feels softer and i think on the whole fans are just glad that this wonderful track is getting the exposure it finally deserves.
And lastly, we have, what was for me anyway, the thing i had been looking forward to most on this EP - the studio version of the awesome Viva La Vida / Domino Dancing mash-up the Boys' had performed live on tour. Now, listening to it here, it's still fantastic, but it lacks the all-out `WOW!' factor of experiencing with a live audience. The track feels a little flat and the 1 minute drum intro could possibly have been cut. The Domino Dancing synth hook is just as infectious as ever though and the Boys' version of Coldplay's hit song is extremely well done indeed.
The only other thing that could have made this EP even better would have been the Boys' version of The Loving Kind - the song they wrote for Girls Aloud. Nevertheless, this is a great release and a must-buy for Pet Shop Boys fans.