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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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While last year's "Elysium" was downtempo, world-weary and a bit of a revisiting of well-trodden PSB territory, "Electric" - produced by dance wunderkind Stuart Price - is that album's antithesis: it's uptempo, energetic and fresh-sounding.

1. "Axis"
The opener to the album is really a statement of intent, without the usual verse/chorus structure we've come to expect from the Boys, and in fact featuring hardly any vocals at all. The message is clear: this is no ordinary PSB studio album. It's a great - if slightly overlong - start.

2. "Bolshy"
Interlaced with lines spoken in Russian (probably an allusion to the derivation of the word "bolshy"), we get to hear Neil Tennant singing for the first time on the album. Halfway through there's a dream of a breakdown that features the kind of cowbells, handclaps and orchestral hits that might have come straight from the Phil Harding remix of "Always On My Mind" circa 1987. A brilliantly catchy track.

3. "Love Is A Bourgeois Construct"
This track is backdropped against a Purcell melody that'll be instantly recognisable to virtually everyone (Michael Nyman also used this melody in his soundtrack to The Draughtsman's Contract). Like most PSB songs based on classical compositions, it doesn't quite work, but it's still highly enjoyable nonetheless.

4. "Fluorescent"
With a sample of what sounds like someone grunting for a snare drum and banks of wibbling synthesisers that constantly threaten to wibble off key, "Fluorescent" is gloriously sleazy-sounding. Tennant sings about a person's beauty and fame, and how both are destined - just like a fluorescent light bulb - not to last forever. Along the way he manages to rhyme "mark" with "oligarch".

5. "Inside A Dream"
The previous track's less sleazy sibling, "Inside A Dream" is a sublime track with a spritely bassline and a percussion sound that might have been lifted straight from Mel & Kim's "Showing Out". There's something indefinably wonderful - dreamy, even - about this song.

6. "The Last To Die"
The only track on the album not written by Tennant and Lowe, this is probably the strongest song on the album, and a testament to Bruce Springsteen's songwriting skills. It somehow manages to be both euphoric and heartbreaking at the same time, and is reminiscent of "Human" by The Killers (also produced by Stuart Price).

7. "Shouting In The Evening"
This track is light on vocals, and is really just based around a single synth riff - but what a riff! Hi-energy, pounding, infectious: that riff would get any club going. My only complaint is that the track goes out with a whimper rather than the bang it deserves.

8. "Thursday"
"Thursday" has the same kind of bassline and synth pads as the Boys' first ever hit "West End Girls" 28(!) years ago. "I wanna know you're gonna stay for the weekend," sings Tennant, followed by Chris Lowe listing the days of the week from Thursday to Sunday. Then up pops Example, whose rapping/singing style suits the song to a T.

9. "Vocal"
The first "proper" single from the album, "Vocal" is an ode to nightclubbing that, suitably enough, is in the generic style of a clubbing track. The melody - or the vocal - lifts it above the average club fodder though, and, as ever, Tennant's voice sounds so right laid on top of an electro dance track.

This is the best Pet Shop Boys album since 1993's "Very", and the most exciting since 1988's "Introspective". You have to wonder whether it's been made possible by the Boys' departure from Parlophone, a label who'd possibly been demanding "Radio 2-friendliness" ever since the Boys' records were dropped from Radio 1's playlists (if so, those same record company execs will be flagellating themselves with their own rulebooks when they hear this album). Or maybe the Boys are just overly fond of coming up with lush, middle-of-the-road ballads.

Either way, it's the energetic tracks that made the Pet Shop Boys' name. I'll never forget the first time I heard the over-the-top thunderousness of "It's A Sin", nor the first time I heard an old Elvis ballad transformed into a joyous show-stopper. "Electric" has the same kind of feel to it, and I can imagine it becoming the soundtrack to summer 2013 for many people. It's been a long time coming, but the Pet Shop Boys are back on top form.
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on 13 August 2013
Probably one of the best Pet Shop Boys albums. An amazing album. Love the thumping opening track Axis - just amazing.
Thursday is a modern day West End Girls and The Last To Die is haunting. Only Neil Tenant could write lyrics such as I've been hanging out with various riff raf down on the Goldhawk Road and make it sound plausable. Album of the year so far for me and in my top 3 PSB albums. Well done Neil & Chris and also Stuart Price who produced the album.
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on 25 June 2014
After recently going to see the Pet Shop Boys, at the LG Arena Birmingham, I bought this album after hearing live, it was an amazing concert, I have always liked whatever they have done, I had pre- viewed this album before I went and I was not really sure about it, but now I can say that I would recommend to you and you will not be disappointed.
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on 16 July 2013
Although it's silly to call "Electric" Pet Shop Boys comeback record considering their latest the ill-fated "Elyssium" came out only a year ago but, as such, "Electric" sounds and feels like the record's a band has waited decades to make for re-launching their career.
"Electric" is PSB most relevant and best record since at least "Very" and to some extent even further back.

Produced by Stuart Price who surely helped re-inventing their classic synths sounds of the 80s, it's clear as the almost intrumental stomping hi-nrg anthem that is "Axis" kicks off that Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe were set on fire while making this record, forgetting about the cultural-clash of ageing popstars that pushed them to make vacual records for the past ten years at least and returning to the harder/harsher/cheesier original template they are known for.
Because after all no-one does hi-nrg dance-pop divaesque anthems as they do.

So if "Axis" sets the scene, with his epic but never cheesy synth-line and Stuart Price signature rolling dance production, so well exemplified on Madonna's last great album "Confessions On The Dancefloor", while Tennant whispers in you ears 'Turn It Up' and go... bang, "Axis" sounds somewhere between Italo-Disco/Acid House and Hard-House... in other words: a banger.

Things get camp on the excellent "Bolshy", a track that sees the duo laying a chorus as catchy as classics "It's A Sin" or "West End Girls" flipping over and they return to the politically charged but hugely catchy "Love Is A Bourgeois Construct" featuring some of the finest lyrics since classic 80s PSB. The latest as anthemic as "Go West".
In fact "Electric" is a winner by being short and almost fillers free, they manage to turn the usually hideous Example interesting on the radio-friendly "Thursday".

"Electric" is, in one word, essential. As they proved on recent live shows (including headlining appearance at Sonar) Pet Shop Boys remain on the most striking 80s pop entity and four decades in as unique as the day "West End Girls" first graced the airwaves. They might end up picking up some new fans along the way.
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on 20 July 2013
As an album this flows beautifully, the songs are all top quality pop - the kind you'll listen to in 30yrs and think - wow I had great taste.

The songs are structured really well(Neil Tennant's Cole Porter wit everpresent), are full of hooks to my ear and and the sound quality is soooo good - more funk than your radio. It'll definitely make you tap your toes/finger click/head nod...dare I say even dance.

Fave: Inside a Dream (best one on here) - tight rolling rhythmic synth sharp/funkier than anyhthing Michael Jackson ever did and Love/Construct. My least favourite track would be Thursday - I just can't get into the 'rap' part...but thankfully this rapper sings following that and has a great voice...that is my only gripe. If their singles were better than most of their b-sides and album tracks then this could be a greatest hits from a parallel universe, it's really that good.

I once felt they had had it - around the Nightlife album and NYC boy and Drunk singles - I was sad.

My opinion may change later, I doubt it, but at this point this IS their best album. Sooo much better than Yes.

I just can't belief how well they've topped themselves yet again....it's given me a great new album buzz...I don't get those very often.

Only a few other albums this year have this buzz to them: IAMX/OMD oh,and Gesaffelstein and Crystal Castles and Erasure and Boys Noize,
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on 14 July 2013
Anybody who was at the O2 last month to experience PSB will be thinking this. We decided, however, not to post up our live recording of Always on my mind as we feared the barrage of complaints over our ability to take the theme of tone deafness to a whole new level. As always, I digress, and the album review is the thing here:

So let's sit back, kick off our trainers and focus on the music. Forget the porcupine tops, the disco ball hat and the laser-thrust arena. No, on second thoughts, stick with it as you recall the whoosh through the underground on Axis, the Electric tour opener (Track 1) and the la-la-las of the anthemic The last to die (Track 6), which sits nicely on the album between the Marvin Gaye inspired film opener Inside a dream (Track 5) and rave era-esque Shouting in the evening (Track 7); and live again the eccentricity of Thursday - whose child has far to go - well, it is practically the weekend (Track 8).

Whilst avidly awaiting the release of this new album I had been going through their back catalogue looking for lost gems: after a little bit of digging I came up with The Resurrectionist, a current favourite; another of my favourite tracks of PSB from an earlier album, Actually, is King's Cross, and I think their previous album Elysium perhaps captures the more melancholy muse. I therefore approached Electric with trepidation: Will there be more songs about how we are all going to die? But Bolshy (Track 2) blew me away with its high energy pop. Predictable PSB are not. I love the titles: Who can argue with this season's theme to dossing around, Love is a bourgeois construct (Track 3) and the louche loveliness of Fluorescent (Track 4)? And Vocal (Track 9) already sounds like a summer club classic.

Electric Playlist:
1. Axis
2. Bolshy
3. Love is a bourgeois construct
4. Fluorescent
5. Inside a dream
6. The last to die
7. Shouting in the evening
8. Thursday
9. Vocal.
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on 19 November 2013
In which we find the boys making their most musically consistent album for quite a while. Not that Yes and Elysium were bad (brilliant uptempo and downtempo bedmates, in my view), but Electric delivers what it promises in the title - upfront electronic dance music. If this album has antecedents, it is Disco vol. 1 or Relentless, not Very, Please or Actually. It is full-on and bears homage to 1980s hi-NRG in particular. Opener Axis, for example, deliberately quotes a spacey electronic burn at the one minute mark that crops up in the intro to Patrick Cowley's mighty Menergy, a hi-NRG stomper featuring gay disco diva Sylvester. In fact, the whole song is an update of Menergy. Closing track Vocal recalls the fantastic Trouser Enthusiasts remixes done for the boys in the Bilingual era. In between all this we get some great electronic textures on Fluorescent (a little echo of Fade To Grey in there, methinks) and Inside a Dream, witty Tennant lyrics on Bolshy and Love Is A Bourgeois Concept (who else would try and work "schadenfreud" into a single's lyrics?), the potentially throwaway b-side-sounding Shouting In The Evening, which in producer Stuart Price's hands becomes a modern bleep-infested stormer, and which perfectly sets up the following track, the Example collaboration Thursday. Hell, we even get what sounds like the gay mens chorus from Go West popping up on Bourgeois Construct (although they sound a bit worse for wear, admittedly). Having admired PSBs as a singles band for many years, bemoaning the fact that their best tracks often seemed to be released as single b-sides (In The Night, Do I Have To?, Sexy Northerner, Always, Your Funny Uncle, It Must Be Obvious ... the list goes on), and that their albums often had big hits mixed in with at times thin filler, this album IS a triumph of programming and worthy of the critics' plaudits. A bit short at 49 mins but thats my only criticism. oh, and the Springsteen cover should have been reworked as a single - splendid stuff.
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on 24 October 2013
I love, love, love the PSB, and have done ever since West End Girls. I'm absolutely desperate to love this CD too - but I just can't. I hoped it might be a grower, but it's just not to my taste.

I do like Bourgeois Construct and The Last To Die - but I just can't get into the rest. I've played it to death, but still can't warm to it. There's too much 80s-acid-house type stuff. I love cheesy, ironic, laid back - but I don't love rather tedious house music style.

I'm back to listening to their last three albums in the car instead.

Such a shame!
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on 16 July 2013
No downtempo tracks on this album; it's full on electronic dance from beginning to end. This has a very electronic vibe with some truely out there sounds.

Listen to Fluorescent for a good example of how well crafted the electronica is on this album.

Listen to Bolshy to make you smile and dance (even has its own acid house breakdown in the middle).

Truely outstanding album.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 December 2014
"Pet Shop Boys" have been my favourite group from the 1980's, I have all their albums.

I saw them again in concert, back in June 2013 and it was another GREAT night. :-)

Their album has another set of fantastic songs and as well as that, it also reminds me of another great time I had at another of their concerts.
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