20 Best Pop Albums of 2016

Rihanna, Gaga, the 1975 and more of the year in hooks

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Pet Shop Boys, 'Super'
20
8/20

8. Pet Shop Boys, 'Super'

"Feelin' good, in the mood/That's the state I'm in," Neil Tennant sings. For the 14th Pet Shop Boys album, he and impassive-behind-designer-shades partner Chris Lowe minimize the rue and up the beats. The result is an album of club jams that would exhaust most ravers, never mind pensioneers Tennant's age. Take "Burn," an ode to revelers burning the disco down. As usual with Tennant and Lowe, they plan for every occasion: A song called "Twenty-Something" cocks an eyebrow at kids with "issues" and nothing to say, but the classic is "The Pop Kids," about the boys from their 1990 evergreen "Being Boring" falling in love on the dance floor to a song and with each other. Only when they're dancing can they feel this free – where have we heard that before? A.S.

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