Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental

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Yes I haven't been this excited by an album since Chemistry...so the track by track rundown in BACK bey-beh.

1. Psychological
The most blatantly Kraftwerk-esque song they've ever done (with the possible exception of the David Morales So Hard mix) and a nice slow-burning start to the album.
2. The Sodom and Gomorrah show
Ever since someone pointed out to me that you can sing the chorus to Disco 2000 over the introduction music that's all I can think about in regards this song. It's a reet stomper though.
3. I made my excuses and left
Oh this is such a sad song. I'm not quite sure what the opening two minutes of instrumental have to do with anything but this is one of those mellow "you don't really love me" songs that PSB can do so well.
4. Minimal
The next single and I can see the radio friendly appeal of this one. I can just see everyone walking down the street singing M-I-N-I-M-A-L to themselves.
5. Numb
The inclusion of this reeks of contractual obligations. The idea of the boys writing a song with Dianne Warren was intriguing, but as it becomes clear that she merely gave them this track the end result is pretty underwhelming.
6. God willing
It's like Please all over again. Most bands would have this kind of thing as an introduction. But PSB are not "most bands" and so have this as an interlude.
7. Luna Park
If there is a better ballad in the PSB canon than this, I can't think of it at this time. Gorgeous from start to finish.
8. I'm with Stupid
Their best single in over a decade, and remarkably it's one of the weaker tracks on the album. Which is not to say this is anywhere near a bad track
9. Casanova in hell
Erm, although this is an interesting track I'm not sure it's all that good. The lyrics can get pretty cringeworthy and its hard to take this track seriously after the orchestral instrumentation that follows the line "he couldn't get an errection".
10. Twentieth century
I love this one. The hushed vocals and the mellow, yet danceable, beat make this a real winner in my book.
11. Indefinite leave to remain
Who else in pop music could write a song like this which marries the idea of a love affair and asylum seekers? It's genius folks.
12. Integral
This is the album's absolute disco stomper and really should be a single. It probably won't (I doubt we'll get to a third single this time around) but it's an absolutely stunning end to a cracking album.

This is the best collection of remixes they've ever released in my opinion, and the Richard X produced Fugitive is probably the best track on the whole collection (and may well be the only western pop song ever sung from the perspective of a terrorist). Well worth the extra £4 or so it will cost you to get the special edition.

So overall this is a triumph. It's sort of the missing link between Very and Behaviour style wise and with only one complete miss it's their most complete album since 1993's Very. In fact it's up there with the best they've ever done. Welcome back boys.

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