[Introspective] Pet Shop Boys - Interviews & Album Reviews

Don Ackerman the.ackermans at juno.com
Sat May 7 10:07:28 PDT 2016

Found another review:

CD review: With danceable effort, Pet Shop Boys turns back clock (05/03)
By Pablo Gorondi
The Associated Press  •  Tuesday May 3, 2016 5:45 AM

The duo known as Pet Shop Boys takes another drink from the fountain of youth on “Super,” offering more dance than pop — 13 studio albums and more than 30 years after “West End Girls.”

For the second installment of a probable trilogy with Grammy-winning producer Stuart Price, the British group delves into the nightclub scene with its usual aplomb.

Neil Tennant, a keen observer with sharp storytelling skills, shapes tunes such as “The Pop Kids,” the first single — about 1990s club-goers for whom a look back 15 years represents a lifetime.

“Twenty-something” shows how traditional careers have become more elusive in the past decade and a half: “Thirty’s calling round the bend / Will your ideas ever trend?”.

Chris Lowe has an uncanny ability to keep even the most familiar keyboard riffs from reaching the far side of cheesy, with enough variety to ensure that none overstays its welcome.

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Don Ackerman" <the.ackermans at juno.com>
To: introspective at lists.jameslick.com
Subject: [Introspective] Pet Shop Boys - Interviews & Album Reviews
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2016 06:12:25 GMT

I'm digging the album (it's actually a bit schizophrenic) and found some interviews and album reviews. I tried to grab the review or best snippets.
I hope you love this compilation.

10 minute interview:

9:12 minute interview:

14:05 highlights from "The Breeze"

The Telegraph (3/5)
...At 61, he still sounds like a man in a raincoat, lurking outside the club – Humphrey Bogart from North Shields, whispering sad truths about the scene...Too many tracks sound like they’ve been spun out of ringtones...Both boys are at their best on The Dictator Decides...

Music Times
‘Super’ Reviewed: Pet Shop Boys Recall Energy of ‘Very’ on 13th Studio Album
Super finds Lowe and Tennant deftly navigating not only nostalgic throwback tracks but also forward-thinking, genre-bending dance floor-ready synth-heavy music in general.
The duo smoothly transition between various electronic sub-genres throughout the album. 

Scunthorpe Telegraph
SUPER” - PET SHOP BOYS (Kobalt): Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have for 30 years consistently produced and performed catchy, melodic, synth-based pop songs. Their 12-track latest album written in London and Berlin and produced in Los Angeles is no exception. The Pets are forever the masters of the pop song and the possessors of impeccable dance sensibilities. NC 9/10.

4. The Pet Shop Boys: “Super” (X2 records)
The opening single “The Pop Kids” sounds pretty much like the Pet Shop Boys did in the 1990s. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to sound. Neil Tennant starts off by recalling the 1990s with students going out every night and quoting the best bits of lyrics. This collection is full of the same pulsating keyboards, gentle vocals and doubtless Tennant’s knowingly raised eyebrow just off frame. Arguably, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you like the PSB you will probably like this, though it’s unlikely to win any new converts.

The Messenger
Pet Shop Boys, " Super" (x2 Records)- Most of their contemporaries may have fallen by the wayside since the Pet Shop Boys made their vinyl debut in 1984 with "West End Girls" but Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe still soldier on regardless, and the duo's second album with producer Stuart Price captures their distinctive brand of synthpop at its timeless and elegant best. "Burn" and "The Pop Kids" capture PSB at their most commercial, but Tennant also finds time for a little intellectual reflection with the haunting "Sad Robot World" and "The Dictator Decides," which explores the troubled psyche of a world weary 21st century despot.

Is Pet Shop Boys’ new Super album, well, super?
...Thankfully, for the rest of us, decorum is recovered by The Pop Kids,...The first half is as reliable as political promises...Sadly, too many Opportunities here are missed ones...That said, Super is a grower...but any album judged against such a magnificent back catalogue as the Pet Shop Boys’ has much to live up to.

Washington  Blade
The Boys are back
...“SUPER” is caught in a vice between the sometimes harsh realities of life and the freedom and release that losing yourself on the dance floor can provide. It’s a terrific collection of immaculately produced songcraft by wily veterans who deliver yet another gem in their already amazing catalog of work.

The Press
Pet Shop Boys make a Super album in Berlin and London that's even more electric than Electric
PET Shop Boys have come up with a Super title for their new studio album, matched by the brilliance of its first single The Pop Kids.

MixMag (9/10)
Following 2013’s ‘Electric’, Britain’s three-decade-old electro-pop institution once again combine their talents with maverick producer Stuart Price. Where that album was more dance, this one is more pop, harking back to the group’s literate, melancholic best.

It still pumps, of course, from country-tinged opener ‘Happiness’ to the penultimate ‘Burn’ (“We’re gonna burn this disco down before the morning comes!”), but there’s always room for witty, lyrical songwriting. ‘The Dictator Decides’ and nostalgic single ‘The Pop Kids’ are cracking examples of the latter. With everything lathered in exquisite, 90s-sounding euphoria, the duo prove to be irresistible, once again.

ABC News
Pet Shop Boys’ “Super” ***1/2
...“Super” at times feels like a sarcastic and funny, tongue-in-cheek record...“Super” is an unapologetic club record that revels both in a celebratory energy and its own inherent cheesiness. Again, there is something almost cartoon-like about the way Tennant and Lowe are tackling these often dense electronic numbers, but it is all in good fun.

LGBT Weekly
Pet Shop Boys drop their latest brilliant electronic pop masterpiece: ‘Super’
...drop their latest brilliant electronic pop masterpiece Super that beats as an ode to their house music roots with a nod to today’s youth generation...On the first listening of Super it would have seemed mostly unmemorable. But as is frequently the case with the Pet Shop Boys, the collection of songs grows with each listening until it sonically explodes into its own masterpiece which is exactly what the duo is creating with their planned super electric trilogy.


Super is the electronic duo’s 13th album and virtually every track is filled with intricate layers of beauty. Neil Tennant’s voice is so mesmerizing I found myself bobbing my head and getting lost in the melodies...All in all, Super is a pretty solid album from a seasoned duo, and with the first single "The Pop Kids" already getting the remix treatment, you can be sure that you will be hearing this album at clubs for years to come.

Sydney Morning Herald
Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant have built up a head of steam over the past two albums that has reinforced but also belied their elder-statesmen-of-pop status. Super is the aptly named switch brain off/switch body on culmination of that. This is the most banger-filled thing they have done, from '70s disco and the chrome-filled '80s to glo-stick fields and sunset-to-dawn clubs "on the continent". The lyrics mostly turn to remembering youth, celebrating its freedom or, with light wistfulness, that period in your 20s or 30s when you think you have to make a choice between living and growing up. Buoyant synths light up Say It To Me; temple-throbbing keyboard bass presages vamping chords in Burn; Groovy matches pure New York underground disco with touches of Yello, then explodes; Happiness cheekily puts a country music melodic hook over a club-for-cruisers groove and squelchy keys; Pop Kids is the duo reviving their own early years; and Inner Sanctum goes northern grey sky propulsive. Dance, now.

Pet Shop Boys are aiming for the dancefloor rather than the charts, but Super is still pretty superb (5 stars)
Without resorting to any startling transformations, Pet Shop Boys have tended to absorb trends, rather than break a sweat reacting to or chasing after them. Their arched, sardonic observations and striking production have always proven that their sure shot instincts for blending articulate introspection and contemporary dance resulted in moody classic after moody classic. Bright and enthusiastic in its imagery, Super (starstarstarstar) is arguably the equal of their very best, in turns subdued, synthesized, usurping and, well, super really.

The Red and Black
Pet Shop Boys's 'Super' delivers catchy hooks, danceable beats
Pet Shop Boys emerged from the '80s English club scene and never looked back (or more accurately, forward). The group's new album “Super” was released on April 1 and is a shamelessly dated compilation of synthpop. The album opens with two catchy tracks...Conceptually, “Super” blends fantasy and reality...

Now Toronto 3 Ns (of 5)
The new term "poptimism" describes the surprisingly positive reception for a kind of mainstream pop once considered déclassé by critics inclined to suppress their latent femininity and/or homosexuality by listening only to, say, music the CIA might use to torture suspected terrorists...Few pop acts write about the joys of pop as effectively as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe...It's a timeless theme but a familiar one that plays out in songs that are sometimes brilliant (The Dictator Decides), sometimes primal (Inner Sanctum) and occasionally predictable (Sad Robot World) and rote (Burn).

The Guardian (3/5)
hands-in-the-air gems and the rest
Nostalgia is a powerful tool in today’s music market, selling things back to their original markets in repackaged form, pulling in later adopters along the way. Into this fray of reformations and homages drops a new album from the doggedly evergreen Pet Shop Boys...Super’s first half euphorically lives up to the title...The second half loses momentum slightly...A 21st-century approach is useful here – park the nostalgia and just download the best bits.

PSB forever,

Wall Street Daily
Peter Schiff: China Just Armed its Financial Missile

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