Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and Christopher Lowe bounce back in a big way from their inferior 1999 release, Nightlife, with this latest album, Release. Available in four different covers (see above). I bought the black one. Initial releases (excuse the pun) don't have any writing on the front as they come in a sleeve..
Working with guitar legend Johnny Marr (Smiths, Electronic) on eight of the ten tracks, they seem to have regained their ability to write solid pop songs even if they've left a lot of their trademark irony and wit behind. Instead, they ponder love and life on this often melancholy collection. It's their most rock guitar-based record ever. Funny that as they used to take the piss out of U2 so much.
Standouts include the catchy, mid-tempo first single Home And Dry, Here, and You Choose, the singalong-worthy I Get Along and the downright danceable The Samurai In Autumn.
But I suspect the song that will get the most attention is The Night I Fell In Love, with Eminem apparently, judging from the storyline and lyrics.
"He said we could be secret lovers just him and me, then he joked, 'Hey man, your name isn't Stan is it? We should be together,' " Tennant sings. "And he was a passionate, I guess I'd rate him a nine out of 10, by then, I'd fallen in love."
PSB have also penned an interesting new Christmas song, Birthday Boy, whose lyrics go: "Christmas Eve -- a time of joy, if you believe in birthday boy/ This time around, it's all a mistake, is he deluded or just a fake?"