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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dj Buddy B Goes Electric with the Pet Shop Boys

The Pet Shop Boys' latest album, Electric, is surely something they could do in their sleep at this point of their career. Nonetheless, it is not to be ignored and should appeal to contemporary clubgoers and dance fans despite -- or, perhaps, partly because of -- its distinctly '80s flavor. The album will be available in the USA on July 16. It is the first album released on their own label and it's produced by Stuart Price.

Electric opens with the largely instrumental, "Axis," already a Billboard charter as is the ultimate number, "Vocal."  The latter is a very hiNRG dance tune that should infuse everyone with the desire to shake his/her moneymaker.

Bruce Springsteen's anti-war "Inside a Dream" gets a clever disco makeover. "Bolshy" and "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct" seem to refer to a gay love affair in Russia, very timely regarding the release date of this album. "Bourgeoise" has a very strong male chorus in the background with a distinct Russian echo to it.

Only the number "Shouting in the Evening" was too cacophonous for me. (What were they thinking when they arranged this? Appealing to a heavy industrial techno crowd? Do they still exist?!) "Thursday," the penultimate track, is classic PSB, but with a nice tweak via a brief interlude by rapper, Example. Would make a fine single with remixes.

All in all, a successful outing but don't expect anything revolutionary. The Pet Shop Boys have had a winning musical formula with few variations for over 30 years. And it still serves them well.

There were a couple of other hot dance tunes I enjoyed on promos this weekend: Deborah Cox's "Higher," featuring Paige, is a solid number for the diva who performed it as part of her act on the NYC Pier Dance last month.  Wrapped in an electro arrangement of drums and a swirl of keyboards, her vocals burnish through to make this a summer hit. You can hear it below.

And Mariah's back with another dancefloor tune for her fans. Suitably Latin but to an upbeat House production in the fabulous Big Kid and Brian Cua remix, which is the way to go on this one. The song is called "Almost Home" and it's a winner.

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