Pet Shop Boys -- Super (another Stuart Price production)

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Out April 1. Tracklisting:

01 Happiness
02 The Pop Kids
03 Twenty-something
04 Groovy
05 The dictator decides
06 Pazzo!
07 Inner sanctum
08 Undertow
09 Sad robot world
10 Say it to me
11 Burn
12 Into thin air

And here's "Inner Sanctum"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNLkcOqQSBM

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:33 (one year ago) Permalink

"Inner Sanctum" has to be less a single, more a killer album track.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:33 (one year ago) Permalink

That single low piano note around 2:10. The whole song, holy moly.

Longform Gordon Lightfoot (Eazy), Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Pretty great, though not unlike "Axis."

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I almost feel we have a good pre-covers opportunity (let's make lots of songs) here.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:43 (one year ago) Permalink

So excited for this. Hope it's as good as Electric.

I've decided that Sad Robot Day is my favourite song on the album.

Kitchen Person, Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:52 (one year ago) Permalink

I almost feel we have a good pre-covers opportunity (let's make lots of songs) here.

― Ned Raggett, Thursday, January 21, 2016 3:43 PM (32 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Let's do this! I would be on board.

daavid, Thursday, 21 January 2016 16:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, nice! I was was wondering when we'd get some further information on this album. I'm undoubtedly looking forward to it, especially since Electric came out so well. Agree with Ned that 'Inner Sanctum' sounds more like an album track than a single, but I still like it a great deal.

Turrican, Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Am I the only one who's reminded of Age Of Love ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct_5jJV80dw

LeRooLeRoo, Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:23 (one year ago) Permalink

I almost feel we have a good pre-covers opportunity (let's make lots of songs) here.

― Ned Raggett, Thursday, January 21, 2016 3:43 PM (32 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Let's do this! I would be on board.

― daavid, Thursday, January 21, 2016 4:17 PM (2 hours ago)

cosign

bored at work (snoball), Thursday, 21 January 2016 18:58 (one year ago) Permalink

I liked Electric and like this track too. But this, and Electric, feel a little...unambitious. Feels like it's the easiest route to not disappointing anyone to make an album of dancefloor bangers that could really have been recorded anytime in the last 20 years. IMO the (non-early period) Pet Shop Boys are better when they are trying on a different sound - Bilingual, Fundamental. Maybe we won't see anything surprising from them again?

everything, Thursday, 21 January 2016 21:53 (one year ago) Permalink

They're old! It's enough that they keep listening to new collaborators.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 21 January 2016 21:58 (one year ago) Permalink

I was listening to "Integral", "Electricity" and "Minimal" on my commute in and I don't think there's as wide a gulf between that work and them in Electric/Super mode as you are making it seem.

its subtle brume (DJP), Thursday, 21 January 2016 21:58 (one year ago) Permalink

Okay, stupid to grumble. Makes it sound like I like my PSB albums to be patchy, which is not true. Electric was solid.

everything, Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:01 (one year ago) Permalink

I don't think it's an invalid criticism; I just don't process their music that way.

Like, most of what they've released in the past 20 years falls in either the "dance track" bucket or the "adult contemporary" bucket, and their most adult-contemporary album was Elysium, which is a direction I really, really hope they avoid for the rest of their career, so those are the terms I'm mapping onto your statement (particularly when Fundamental has IMO a ton of dancey stuff on it).

its subtle brume (DJP), Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:09 (one year ago) Permalink

That Elysium was a deflated, resigned, sodden mess made avoiding future PSB albums in that vein in the future.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:10 (one year ago) Permalink

And, to a lesser degree, Release, though it gets some love. But then just a few days ago I heard "Your Early Stuff" played in a bar and got a lot of pleasure from it!

everything, Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah it was well rubbish

PaulTMA, Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:24 (one year ago) Permalink

"Your Early Stuff" is probably the most deflated, resigned, sodden mess the PSB's ever recorded.

everything, Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Elysium was blatantly a contract-ender; they already knew they'd be doing an album of ALL BANGERS next for the first release on their own label (it was originally going to come out less than a year later), and before Electric was finished Neil was saying they aimed to do another JLC collab next.

glandular lansbury (sic), Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:50 (one year ago) Permalink

working with jacques lu cont doesn't constitute listening to new collaborators imo.

these are easily one of my favourite bands but i can't even be sure how many recent albums i've ignored due to the certainty they can't compare to their best work.

japanese mage (LocalGarda), Friday, 22 January 2016 00:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Electric is their third-best album.

glandular lansbury (sic), Friday, 22 January 2016 02:22 (one year ago) Permalink

album of the decade

hunangarage, Friday, 22 January 2016 02:58 (one year ago) Permalink

I want to pre-cover PSB!

sarahell, Friday, 22 January 2016 03:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Ha, retro-trance. I knew it was inevitable.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 26 January 2016 09:33 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah it's not so much "Age Of Love" as "Cafe Del Mar" it reminds me of. Having heard this, I'm looking forward to this album in a different way from how I would normally look forward to a Pet Shop Boys album.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 26 January 2016 15:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Ah right, pre-covers! Sorry everyone, let me get on that...

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 January 2016 16:44 (one year ago) Permalink

We are live, claim your tracks:

ILX Pre-Covers Pet Shop Boys' "Super"

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 January 2016 16:46 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

So, the official first single

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JF3Gj8U0YA

I think it's kind of a mess. The music's alright (I wonder if they've been listening to Alex Anwandter) but there's something a about Stuart Price's production that leaves me cold (this is a problem that I also have with Electric, BTW).

The real problem, though has to do with Tennant's out-of-place vocals ...and lyrics (that first verse is a mess)! And the chorus isn't much better. Yet, I could see the whole thing working with another singer. If It was up to me I would keep the backing track, the melody, and change everything else.

daavid, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:35 (one year ago) Permalink

I have a feeling I will enjoy the pre-covers album more than "Super" itself. Let's see.

daavid, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Hmm, I don't agree. The strength of his voice grabbed me on first listen.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Counterpoint: I loved this on first listen. It sounded to me like a dayglo reworking of "Being Boring" with the melancholy tied to the memory rendered as implicit rather than explicit. After I first heard it, I played it 3 times on repeat while getting ready to leave the house.

its subtle brume (DJP), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:38 (one year ago) Permalink

He's sounded better on the last two albums than he has in years.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:39 (one year ago) Permalink

Also sounded amazing live.

its subtle brume (DJP), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:45 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, I fucking love this. Vocals and production sound more than fine to me.

The Dave Grohl of ILX (Turrican), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:46 (one year ago) Permalink

Love this song. I can't believe the difference between this and the tired sounding album they put out just four years ago. It's so great to have them properly back.

Kitchen Person, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:55 (one year ago) Permalink

This is a very personal opinion but I've progressively gone from absolutely loving Tennant's vocals to absolutely hating them. To the point of thinking they are embarrassingly bad. And by this I mean I still love them in the old stuff and hate them in the new stuff. But that's just me.

daavid, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:03 (one year ago) Permalink

Well IMO one of his most embarrassing performances is "Domino Dancing" and ppl generally are all over that nonsense so my take is that everyone has their own unique relationship with his voice

its subtle brume (DJP), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:04 (one year ago) Permalink

I like that most of you are reacting positively, because I love the PSB so much. But on the other hand, what is wrong with you, people??? ;)

daavid, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Lol, DJP, you had to bring up "Domino Dancing", didn't you?

daavid, Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:08 (one year ago) Permalink

I'd like to hear Madonna cover this one.

... (Eazy), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:08 (one year ago) Permalink

xp: well duh

its subtle brume (DJP), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:09 (one year ago) Permalink

All day, all day!

The Dave Grohl of ILX (Turrican), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:14 (one year ago) Permalink

But yeah, that I'd take this over the majority of Elysium or Release goes without saying, it seems to me that they're carrying on from where they left off with Electric, which is absolutely fine by me because that album was fucking great.

The Dave Grohl of ILX (Turrican), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 23:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Sorry, LOVE this.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 17 February 2016 01:18 (one year ago) Permalink

This is excellent!

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 17 February 2016 01:26 (one year ago) Permalink

Can Stuart Price produce the next New Order album, please?

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 17 February 2016 01:33 (one year ago) Permalink

just amazing, their best single since I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore IMO.

piscesx, Wednesday, 17 February 2016 02:04 (one year ago) Permalink

I *love* Domino Dancing.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 17 February 2016 09:49 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah, I'm not feeling this... "cold" is the right word.

skip, Wednesday, 17 February 2016 15:39 (one year ago) Permalink

xxpost - what a twat!

Who in their right mind could possibly dislike Neil Tennant.

daavid, Monday, 11 April 2016 22:05 (one year ago) Permalink

McNabb appears to be a massive cunt if you check out his social media posts

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 12 April 2016 23:14 (one year ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Fall tour:
http://petshopboys.co.uk/tour

Yung Chella (Eazy), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 02:08 (one year ago) Permalink

I'll have to give this another listen to see if I can get into it a little more.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 08:31 (one year ago) Permalink

And the video for "Twentysomething" is out, and it's marvelous.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 12:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Well fucking hell, this is sounding absolutely marvellous to me this go-round!

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Saturday, 14 May 2016 16:56 (one year ago) Permalink

told you!

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 14 May 2016 20:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Alright, alright...I'll give it another spin!

rhymes with "blondie blast" (cryptosicko), Saturday, 14 May 2016 20:30 (one year ago) Permalink

It does run a teeny bit out of steam towards the end, IMO, but the first five tracks or so are a great run, I think. May actually grow on me further!

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Apt choice of adverb.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:14 (one year ago) Permalink

'The Pop Kids', 'The Dictator Decides', 'Groovy', 'Twenty Something' and 'Undertow' are all marvellous, I think, but the only one I didn't really enjoy was 'Sad Robot World', and maybe 'Pazzo!' could have been left off. But this go-round pretty much confirmed to me that I'm not done with this record yet.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:21 (one year ago) Permalink

"Burn" has become the one I've listened to most.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:28 (one year ago) Permalink

I love it how the beginning of the vocal melody to 'The Dictator Decides' reminds me of 'Love Goes On!' by The Go-Betweens. It's got me thinking that these guys would do a wonderful cover of a Go-Betweens song.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Hehe, yeah, that synth riff on 'Burn'! It's not too hard to imagine '80s PSB coming up with that.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Saturday, 14 May 2016 21:40 (one year ago) Permalink

I agree! A lot of the album reminds me of vintage PSB in a good way.

LeRooLeRoo, Sunday, 15 May 2016 13:44 (one year ago) Permalink

Looking forward to finally seeing them in October. That took me long enough. (But I felt better when Tom Ewing admitted he's still never seen them either!)

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 15 May 2016 14:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'm hoping to finally see them on this tour too. I was hoping for a Minnesota date but they're coming close enough.

Kitchen Person, Sunday, 15 May 2016 14:58 (one year ago) Permalink

Ned - I'm going to the Fox show in October. I saw them back in like 93 in Boston - amazing theatrical show...

schwantz, Sunday, 15 May 2016 16:05 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I've been playing this album a lot this week and even with the Air pastiche in the middle, theres a noticeable euphoric lift starting at Inner Sanctum

STOP KILLING ANIMALS, THEY'RE MINT (DJP), Friday, 3 June 2016 20:22 (one year ago) Permalink

isn't "Burn" awesome?

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 3 June 2016 20:22 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm increasingly agreeing with Alfred that someone should talk 'em out of making their next record ballad-heavy. As much as I love a lot of PSB ballads, knowing that PSB still stick up for Elysium is enough to make me worried that their next album will be like that, rather than, say, Behaviour. Nobody wants that!

Turrican, Friday, 3 June 2016 20:46 (one year ago) Permalink

If they want it, they should do it. You or I don't have to listen to it, and they're under no illusions as to how many more people want bangers than Elysia.

glandular lansbury (sic), Saturday, 4 June 2016 00:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Well I hope to be pleasantly surprised by whatever they do next, and if they manage to pull off a great ballad-heavy album, then I'd be the last to complain - I'm not optimistic, though.

Turrican, Saturday, 4 June 2016 00:37 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Just saw their first of two nights here in the Bay Area -- and I finally see them after thirty years of being a fan! That took me long enough.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 28 October 2016 06:25 (one year ago) Permalink

I was there too! What a light show!

schwantz, Friday, 28 October 2016 15:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Really lovely. Pretty much a case where a band is well-seasoned, knows how to make a show work when they're mostly static themselves on static and has the money for it.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Was it just the two of them, two plus dancers, two plus band? I've seen them a few times and I think the best have been the Boys plus dancers, worst (or most disappointing) with musicians.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:24 (one year ago) Permalink

My dullest show was in 2002 for the Release show: they sat on stools, Tennant strumming a guitar.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 October 2016 16:29 (one year ago) Permalink

No dancers, though the three backing musicians did accompany Neil on a couple of gently choreographed stage moves, sometimes wore masks or costume elements, etc. It did work very well, though! They provided a number of striking moments during the whole thing -- one of my favorites was the one in the middle (didn't fully catch her name at the end -- Christine something) who plays violin, and did the fanfare melody of "Love is a Bourgeois Construct." Absolutely perfect extra element to totally send that song.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:31 (one year ago) Permalink

"Release" was a full band, iirc. Nightlife had ... a set and dancers? Fundamental tour had a sorta-band and ... movable cubes? Last tour, behind Electric, was my fave, minimal, cool lights, and just the two dancers.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:33 (one year ago) Permalink

Obviously I can't directly compare it to experiences from previous tours (sadly) but I was impressed how they included the early/inevitable hits without having them dominate the show. (And they didn't play all of them either!). The spacing out of cuts from the 90s/00s was pretty sharp -- nothing from Behaviour but one from every album since then.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:33 (one year ago) Permalink

I suppose my other two key takeaways were how Neil works a crowd (juuuust indulging himself as he goes) and that if you took him out of the context and outfits he essentially looks like an old Tory grandee now. I suspect he was thrilled when he finally didn't have to worry about his hair any more.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Too many hits to play. A bit too much of the current album (which isn't my fave) imo. However, they should have ended the show with Burn! Perfect sentiment to end a show.

Weirdly, they ended the show with a cover (Go West - Bay Area crowd-pleaser, to be fair), and then ended the encore with a cover (Always On My Mind). Both are good, but I would have preferred to end on an original.

Also, no Being Boring, which was too bad, but again - too many choices!

I saw them at the Orpheum in Boston for the Performance Tour (1991), which was amazing and over-the-top (they even wrote an overture for the show!). This show wasn't as nuts as that, but I still had a good time.

schwantz, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:55 (one year ago) Permalink

Can't believe there aren't a ton of Burn remixes...

schwantz, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:56 (one year ago) Permalink

I haven't much listened to the album since reviewing it in April, but "Burn" has remained lodged in my head, including the end of last week. It and "The Pop Kids" are the keepers.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 October 2016 16:58 (one year ago) Permalink

It's weird how "Burn" doesn't stick in my mind as much as it should. Maybe a relisten or two.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 28 October 2016 16:59 (one year ago) Permalink

Taking my daughter tonight for her birthday (like she knows the PSB from Adam, ha ha). Should be a blast as always. I can't wait for her to go to school on Monday and brag about it to her equally clueless friends.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 November 2016 16:16 (one year ago) Permalink

I listened to this album again yesterday after not hearing it for a while, and 'Burn' struck me as being a clear highlight. This album has grown on me a hell of a lot.

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Sunday, 6 November 2016 19:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Great show. My daughter went to a last minute sleepover so missed out. At the same time, about 2/3rds of the way through this little old dude on some sort of drug showed up in the row in front of me and spent the remainder of the show reacting to every song like he never ever expected the PSB to play it ("OMG, 'It's a Sin'!!!!!!"), hugging everyone, kissing the hands of ladies around him and otherwise being a distracting jackass. That and these three hulking Euro bros who spent the whole show hopping from empty seat to empty seat, bro-ing it up, bummed me out a bit.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 7 November 2016 14:51 (one year ago) Permalink

"Burn" rules a lot

¶ (DJP), Monday, 7 November 2016 14:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Burn, The Pop Kids, Happiness, Undertow and The Dictator Decides are the highlights for me. Super definitely isn't as consistent as Electric which is an album I'm still playing a lot, but it's a good mid-level Pet Shop Boys album. I'd put it on a similar level to Bilingual and Nightlife.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 7 November 2016 15:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Yes to all the above, plus 'Twenty-Something' ... I'd rank it above Nightlife but below Bilingual (which has become one of my favourite albums of theirs)

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Monday, 7 November 2016 21:05 (one year ago) Permalink

I think "Sad Robot World" is incredibly charming.

¶ (DJP), Monday, 7 November 2016 21:29 (one year ago) Permalink

WE'RE GONNA BURN THIS DISCO DOWN
TIL THE MORNING COMES

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 November 2016 21:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Ah yeah, and 'Groovy'!

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Monday, 7 November 2016 21:52 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVY!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 26 April 2017 19:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

Look at me
Look at me

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 April 2017 20:17 (seven months ago) Permalink

I pretty much like everything on this album apart from 'Say It To Me' ... surely they must be doing some work on the follow-up now?

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 26 April 2017 20:20 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

06 Pazzo!
07 Inner sanctum
08 Undertow

^^ really into these three as a suite

Eazy, Wednesday, 14 June 2017 15:40 (five months ago) Permalink

I thought this album was very underrated. I like it just as much as Electric. "Say It To Me" > "Burn" > "Into Thin Air" is also a great trio.

LeRooLeRoo, Wednesday, 14 June 2017 20:42 (five months ago) Permalink


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