This is basically where I start wondering whether PSBs are from another planet or not. To quote Neil Tennant it seems that, with "Introspective" (released in October 1988), the Boys did find "the essence of pop". Where to start? instead of ten songs of 5 minutes each, "Introspective" is made of 6 extended mixes of songs/singles that had never been on an LP before. "I am not scared" was written for Patsy Kensit and Eigth Wonder in 1987. It was a very good song but here Neil's voice and the PSB's production of the song give it a real sense of danger. "Always on my mind", one of the best covers EVER, with its very sophisticated orchestration and production values, finds in "Introspective" its "ultimate" incarnation and mix: I was gobsmacked. "Left to my own devices" is a luscious Trevor Horn-produced affair, but also a marvelous melody, and the combination of both is a riot.
"It's alright" is a great cover of a Sterling Void song but the version here is not ideal and the Boys would perfect it for the single release in June 1989.
"I want a dog" is an extremely funny track (you always want one in every PSB album). Lastly, "Domino Dancing" is a beautiful dance track with a formidable "latino twist" thanks to producer Lewis Martineé. Overall, an essential LP, a place in time where all the stars are aligned...and the best was yet to come (the next PSB review by this author appears for Liza Minnelli's "Results" album).