Pet Shop Boys
Hotspot (X2 Recordings Ltd.)
While casual pop fans will relegate Pet Shop Boys into the one-hit-wonder bin, the truth is, they’ve been releasing music since their 1980’s heyday, maturing and expanding their sound with each new release. Indeed, “Bolshy” and “Thursday,” from 2013’s “Electric” made that release a career high-water mark.
Frontman Neil Tenant and synth genius Chris Lowe have another stunner on their hands. These ten tracks are among their best. “Will-o-the-wisp” is a thumping club groove, albeit with cheeky bleeps and blips giving way to a dark, minor-key chorus. Driving and relentless, it sets up the rest of the record impeccably.
“Dreamland” and “Monkey Business,” catch my ear in particular, as they fill the roll of throwbacks. I’m a sucker for anything that sounds like it could’ve been recorded in 1984 and Pet Shop Boys have a sly knack for doing this without sounding silly or pandering. I’m betting most synth-pop fans will feel the same and be entertained.