The signs all boded well for a great new album. With Love etc.
they'd come back with possibly the best single since West End Girls
, the album has an iconic white cover just like the early stuff, It's got a nice compact eleven tracks and they'd been working with the production team behind some of Girls Alouds biggest tracks, Xenomania.
I've been a Pets fan since forever (In fact Please
was one of the first albums I ever bought in a three for the price of one deal from the Britannia Music Club fact fans!) and let's be honest. They've never made a bad album. Some however are obviously better than others. While their last album Fundamental
was widely regarded as a return to form it had a few too many slow tracks for my liking.
Yes kicks off brilliantly with 'Love Etc.'. It's a huge single with a cracking melody and chorus. It sounds utterly unlike anything they've done before but is conversely sounds instantly Pet Shop Boys.
After that it romps along with high energy pop numbers, particular highlights including, Vulnerable
and More Than A Dream
. The 'Boys barely put a foot wrong. The slow ballad King of Rome
is a nice change of tempo and remembers to include a tune you could whistle.
For me it's one track too long as the track Building a Wall
has a great start but then goes nowhere. Unlike similar Pets 'songs with a message' (See also: Integeral
or The Theatre
) the message is strangely unclear. It also contains a cringe worthy 'Who do you think you are, Captain Britain?' spoken line from Chris Lowe. I'm guessing it's supposed to somehow hint at Neil Tennants previous life as a Comic (sorry I don't know whether it was Marvel or DC) editor but it sounds awful. Nothing like the iconic contribution he makes to Paninaro
('I dont like country & western. I dont like rock music. Ehm, I dont like, I dont like rockabilly, rocknroll in particular, I dont like much, really, do i? [laugh] But what I do like, I love passionately).
Other than that though it's a thoroughly satifsying album. It's their best since Very
which it fittingly reminds me of because it sounds so very Pet Shop Boys. There can be no higher praise than that.