Monday, 15 July 2013

Electric: First Listen

Afternoon all. Well - only one place to start today. I went into town, got my copy of Electric and I've already listened to it. I have to admit - I was a bit wary of the new album. I loved all the snippets I had heard but I had really disliked Vocal. Also - the reviews have been so good I was worried it would turn out to be underwhelming like I felt Random Access Memories was. As it turns out I shouldn't have worried - here's my first impressions from first listen. I'll have a proper review in a few weeks once I've digested the album a bit more:
  • It's been well documented that the album is a banger. That's one way of putting it. It's by far and away the most crazily dancefloor oriented album they've ever done. And it's brilliant because of that. Anyone who particularly loved Relentless will love Electric, I'd garauntee it actually. And most importantly it's far better than Elysium.
  •  One thing that does play second fiddle to the music though are the lyrics. Although Love Is A Bourgeois Construct does have great lyrics - it's probably the most typically sounding Pet Shop Boys song on the album. That may disappoint some but honestly the dance arrangements will engross you so much lyrics become -  dare I say it - an afterthought. Whether or not the lack of lyrical depth will harm my repeated plays of the album remains to be seen. Frankly I don't think it will.
  • Vocal is the worst track on the album for me (but it is a good closing track). Axis also makes the perfection introductory track too. So far my early favourites are Inside A Dream, Bolshy and Shouting In The Evening. I have to say Thursday sounded a lot better than I thought it would be though - Example's rap actually fitted in really well. The only track I was disappointed in was Fluroscent - I loved it from the sample but truth be told the track doesn't evolve much from that. It's still good but it didn't blow me away as much as I had hoped.
  • I actually like every song on the album - even Vocal grew on me when heard in the context of Electric. Honestly - it's truly rare that I like every song on any album but it's especially rare for Pet Shop Boys. In fact the only other Pet Shop Boys album I like every song on is Yes. Even then - it took a year to reach that status. To have Electric achieve this on first listen is really something for me indeed.
  • The album also has a lot of late 80s sounds to it whilst still sounding very modern. To put it succinctly, it sounds very much like a Pet Shop Boys album - Vocal however I still feel does sound a bit generic. Electric balances old and new perfectly however.
  • So - where does it go in the all time rankings? Obviously this will change over time. However at the moment it'd be most certainly in my top five - and frankly I can see it being just behind Behaviour and Very in the top three. It really is genuinely brilliant.
So - all in all this massive Pet Shop Boys fan gives Electric a hearty two thumbs up. It's a dancefloor album with real flare and pinache. I'll be back later with pictures of today's purchases in town, thanks for reading!

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