Published Apr 05, 2016English electronic duo Pet Shop Boys have had no problem growing with the times — or perhaps they were already ahead of their time when they debuted in the early 1980s. The fact is that contemporary trends in synth pop fit well with the long-established sound of the British heavy-hitters. The duo's 13th studio album, Super, will appeal to the cult following that's stuck with them over the years while reaffirming their continued relevance and influence.
As Tennant sings on their first and appropriately named single, "The Pop Kids," "they call us the pop kids cause we love the pop hits," a perfect summary of Tennant and Chris Lowe's long-standing love affair with pop music, if there ever was one. Opening track "Happiness" is a fantastic welcome back note for fans, a poignant dance number about finding that special someone, while "The Dictator Decides" presents commentary on politics while indulging in operatic vocal interludes, Tennant's eerie, low voice establishing a dark tone that feels out of step with the bright Super. This is immediately followed by "Pazzo!," a thumping, club-ready interlude that feels similarly wedged in.
For the most part, though, Super finds the Pet Shop Boys maintaining their trademark melodies and throbbing dance anthems, while exhibiting consistency that's made them such a force for the past three decades. (Kobalt)