The Pet Shop Boys prove through their latest album, Super, that they are indeed capable of bringing back the groove of the 80s and 90s. The British pop-duo brings the Calvin Harris, Zedd and David Guetta EDM-infused pop culture some serious nostalgia of the disco era with a generous 12-track album. The album was produced by Stuart Price, which the duo has worked with in the past for their previous album, Electric. Super seems to be an extension of sorts of the sounds of Electric, but this time, the Pet Shop Boys are going above and beyond.
“Happiness” sets the techno tone for the album, hooking in the listener for an ultimate upbeat bedroom dance session that is bound to happen. The chorus complements the piano melody, and has similar sounds to the vocals of Empire of the Sun. It’s safe to say that “The Pop Kids” is the highlight of the album, and is a song with lyrics worth paying attention. This autobiographical song takes fans down memory lane from when The Pet Shop Boys first embarked on their musical journey back in the early 80s. The song itself is has quite the catchy melody, with easy to follow lyrics. “Groovy” is a total 80s dance number and will get your body moving despite the rather strange and awkward synth fade out at the end. “Twenty Something” begins with keyboard rolls, entering a nice electro-ska beat, resulting in a very Eurythmics-like number.
“The Dictator Decides” and “Sad Robot World” reflect more than just the club culture and dance music that The Pet Shop Boys produce. “The Dictator Decides” brings a 180 change to the flow of the album by bringing on a dark vibe with a marching beat in the background. The lyrics of “Dictator Decides” take a hint on the confusion and dismay on the current political situation in the United States, regarding the upcoming presidential elections. “Sad Robot World,” given from the title, is a slow moody number pointing out at the sadness of our technology driven lifestyle with “management decisions” and “technical provisions.” The title “Pazzo” itself describes this funky electro number that really entertains the listener with quite the electronic mash-up experiment. “Burn” is another take-away dance number, picking the album up from the prior string of instrumental based songs; the song features a nice drum base beat and a catchy chorus background.
Super definitely contains music that will hit the soft spot of the generation that enjoyed those late nights out under disco balls, but it may not be an album for the millennials who have become so accustomed to modern day EDM pop music. Although Super isn’t anything far from being a “super” album, it is not an album where all songs will make the cut on the iTunes top charts. The multitude of filler instrumental songs on the album leave listeners wanting more. Super may more of be a “musical update” especially for audiences who are familiar with the British duo or who are fans of the nostalgic 80s, and 80s pop music.