New Music: Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp, Placebo And More

[Editor’s note: We introduce a biweekly music column from renowned DJ Paul V. Let us know what you think in the comments section.]



Pet Shop Boys, “Electric” (Kobalt)

It’s a sin how the last few PSB records were guilty of being boring. So I was thrilled to hear how inspired the UK duo sounds on their 12th effort. Mega producer Stuart Price (aka Midas Touch Man) made it clear he wanted to give it all a “euphoric, fresh feel,” and he succeeded 100%. These are some of the most enticing beats, gut-punching basslines and infectious melodies they’ve come up with in ages. And it’s a spirited Neil Tennant who offers his patented Brit-centric, droll lyrics on tracks like “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” (a nod to Madge’s Confessions On A Dance Floor) and “Bolshy.” Many of the best songs (“Fluorescent,” “Axis,” “Inside A Dream”) are more chanted than sung, letting the seductive disco rhythms and neon-lit synths do all the talking. The song that really sums up this vibe is the “It’s Alright”-inspired lead single “Vocal,” where Tenant extols the virtues of church via the dance floor. Bravo, Boys!




Placebo, “Too Many Friends”

It was inevitable that social media overload would inspire its own theme song. Singer Brian Molko laments “My computer thinks I’m gay, I threw that piece of junk away” and lays it down that all these “friends” we gather on the interwebs, “staring in to their phones,” do nothing but create sorrow and pain. Yet the song is a terrific, mid-tempo rocker with an alluring hook. “Like” it or I’ll unfriend you…



Kate Boy, “The Way We Are” (Bixel Boys remix) – Free Download

LA’s Bixel Boys polish up this fab single with just the right amount of pumped up house beats for maximum club love. Australia and Sweden, represent!


Goldfrapp, “Drew”

Goldfrapp hints a first taste of their forthcoming disc Tales Of Us which drops on September 10. This gorgeous, evocative ballad pulses like a dream, and in the video, Allison fantasizes about some kind of Fellini-esque, pansexual tryst in an abandoned mansion. Bonus points for plenty of NSFW male bumcakes all over the place, too.


DJ Paul V. has been offering up his alternative/electro beats on dance floors since 1982, most notably at LA’s Dragstrip 66. He’s also an accomplished blogger and author of Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay.

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  • Kevin

    Pet Shop Boys last few albums have hardly been boring. 2012’s Elysium was not meant to be a club album, it was a deep, intelligent and introspective end to their career at Parlophone and is regarded by many as the best album of their career. Most people don’t equate deep and meaningful with boring. Not everything needs to be geared for the dance club. Prior to that they released the universally praised pop album “Yes,” which you are the first reviewer to ever call boring.

    “Electric” is the best dance album Pet Shop Boys have ever released for sure, but that does not mean their other work is lesser than it.

  • Jake357

    I agree 100% Kevin. They both had been talking for years about doing an album that was entirely mid-tempo, which I think they did well with Elysium (even if they strayed a tad in both directions) but it wasn’t boring. It just wasn’t dance music. But if your only bar on music is how quickly it gets you to strip off your shirt and scrounge up some club drugs, then yes. I suppose you would find it a tad boring.

  • EdWoody

    @Kevin: @Jake357: Thank you ladies, for your eloquent defence of Elysium. Electric may be brilliant, but that’s no reason to insult its predecessors. “Memory of the Future” and “The Way It Used to Be” are some the finest tracks they’ve ever written.

  • Paul

    I appreciate all the PSB love here. I was only using a couple of their song titles to get your attention, though. I’m a huge fan myself – I’ve been playing them since the original Bobby-O produced 12″ of “West End Girls” – but I do indeed prefer when they stick to the more uptempo and club-minded tracks. “Elysium” was actually very good.

    But that last time I stripped off my shirt to them in a club was probably around 1987!
    And no drugs were involved, thank you! ;)

  • boring

    Not loading up any of these clips because I know already that they would make me furious at their terribleness.

  • Lazycrockett

    Its nice to see Petheads getting all Taylor Swift fancrazy on this reviewer. The PSB’s have never stumbled in their 30 year career.

  • iMort

    Well slap my butt and call me Helen. Can’t wait for the day when me and all the girls are sitting in the Rest Home rocking out to Hungry Like the Wolf, West End Girls and Walking On Broken Glass. Dancing with our walkers or spinning donuts on our [email protected]Lazycrockett: Fan-Crazy is a bit of an oxymoron great [email protected]boring: You live up to your moniker.

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