"This is my kind of music. . . . I like the singer, he's lonely and strange," Neil Tennant sings over the house-y pound of "Vocal." Pet Shop Boys have always stirred pathos into the punch, and on their 12th album they rediscover the bliss of introspective throb. Stuart Price, the electro maven who made Madonna glitter anew, helps Tennant and Chris Lowe rebound from 2012's morose Elysium with sexy future grooves ("Fluorescent"), throwback disco ("Love Is a Bourgeois Construct") and a stirring cover of Bruce Springsteen's anti-war screed "The Last to Die." A pulse-quickening, mind-tickling dance LP 27 years after their debut? This duo did much more than get lucky.
From The Archives Issue 1188: August 1, 2013