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Lets face it, everyone and his dog is going to be writing about the Pet Shop Boys new album Fundamental.... and thats ok because it deserves to be written about :) I always think its a bit of a back handed compliment when people call an album "a return to form". Doesn't that imply that at the very least your last record was a bit pants? I really liked Release, just as when Madonna came back with Confessions... I had really liked American Pie. But after two listens, i can confirm that this could well be my fave PSB cd since Very (and i love the packaging - completely black slipcase with dayglo pink and orange cds inside!)

Some highlights:

  • Not much i can say about the lead off single I'm With Stupid other than its a bit of a bobby dazzler
  • Integral sees the boys continue their political commentary ("if you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to fear" rant about ID cards) and they sound a little bit scary and angry, but it is a great disco stomper of a track
  • Numb is a grandiose track that for me sits a little uncomfortably with the rest of the album - however, for me Neil sounds emotionally devastated on the track and that's not an easy task to pull off
  • The Sodom and Gomorrah Show/Casanova in Hell certainly have the best titles and are terrific tracks that show off Chris and Neil at their very best - clever lyrics wrapped in beautifully produced, memorable and catchy music
  • XO wrote a lot about Minimal - and its a highlight of the album, especially the New Order-esque final minute.

Will the album propel them back into the pop premier league? Probably not, as like Erasure, PSB seem to have trouble reaching beyond their core fanbase. Which is pops loss :(

5 Comments:

  1. J'ason D'luv said...
    Eeek -- I haven't listened to Release since 2002, when it was, uh, released. I thought after that one and Nightlife they'd never make another good album again. Hence the excitement for the new one.

    I haven't bought a Madonna album since Music. Oh, wait, I guess I did buy Confessions.... but I forgot that I did already.
    Paul said...
    i actually really liked Release... and i adored American Life by Madge... i remember in one boring team meeting at work teaching my staff the rap part. We can still all do it til this day. I'm sure thats the sort of thing we get paid for :)
    xolondon said...
    ...and you know I'm satisfied!
    Aaryn said...
    im not a fan of anything they have done (except the 80s stuff!)
    Paul said...
    aaryn - i do think they have a tendency to only appeal to their own initial fan base now, but some of the stuff from the 90s and beyond has been great. I love Can You Forgive Her and their duet with Kylie In Denial (featured on her showgirl tour) is a thing of entrancing beauty

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