Pet Shop Boys "Love etc."

Pet Shop Boys "Love etc."
There are many reasons to get excited about the forthcoming Pet Shop Boys album, which is scheduled for release on March 17 via Parlophone. As we reported back in October, guests on the duo's tenth album, and follow-up to 2006's enjoyable Fundamental, include Johnny Marr contributing guitar to several songs, Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett adding his gorgeous arrangements to yet another high-profile album and best of all, Tchaikovsky, who is given a co-writing credit on "All Over the world."

But what I anticipate most is hearing how Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe connect with Xenomania (aka Brian Higgins), the cream of the pop when it comes to chart-dominating production. Having already helmed records by the likes of Girls Aloud (whose "The Loving Kind" was co-written by Tennant), Annie, Sugababes, Kylie, Rachel Stevens, Saint Etienne and, unsuccessfully, Franz Ferdinand, it seems like a match made in heaven. So, was it worth it? The first evidence, lead single "Love etc." certainly doesn't disappoint. With a kickback beat that has made plenty of cameos in Girls Aloud's flamboyant work, some drunken, manly shout-outs in behind Tennant and a structure that at times, recalls "Left To My Own Devices," it's definitely what I was hoping for from this pairing. And, yes, I can see it being always on my mind for the next while.

Pet Shop Boys "Love etc."