Fundamental    19 05 2006

Fundamental is the their 9th studio album (16th, if you count various remix, hits, and b-side compilations), continuing in a long tradition of to-the-point, one-word (Please, Actually, Behavior, Very) album titles. This time around they have enlisted the help of ‘80s producer extraordinaire, Trevor Horn, who the duo last worked with on the song “Left to My Own Device” from 1988’s Introspective, their compilation of 12” dance singles.
A founding member of The Buggles, Horn is responsible for the ‘80s smash and MTV catalyst, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” as well as being a founding member of Art of Noise. He also enjoyed a stint, albeit brief, as the lead singer for the band Yes on 1980’s Drama. Horn has since gone on to produce the likes of Tom Jones, Tina Turner, LeAnn Rimes, and Belle and Sebastian, to name a few, but is most known for his work with Frankie Goes to Hollywood in the ‘80s, and his on-again, off-again relationship with Seal throughout the 1990s.

With Fundamental, the marriage of Horn’s trademark orchestrals to Lowe’s usual disco delights is the perfect blend of producer-artist commerce, with either side taking center stage. It doesn’t sound overtly Trevor Horn, yet there is something setting it apart from the last few Pet Shop Boys releases, something ultimately different, yet very familiar. It runs the usual Pet Shop Boys gamut from traditional four-on-the-floor club tracks to sweeping, lovelorn ballads to biting (this time political) anthems.

“Psychological”, the album’s opening track, is a sweet little electro ditty, dark in its lyrical content and, in a word, paranoid. Not your usual Pet Shop fare, and certainly not indicative of the rest of the album, but a stellar opener nonetheless. The next track, however, “The Sodom and Gomorrah Show”, is a trademark PSB anthem about sense of belonging with the usual strings and lush synth chords you’ve come to expect, and a Xanadu feel throughout that w
ould have any good E.L.O. fan questioning his whereabouts. From there, the album unfolds much like a typical Pet Shop Boys release. Overall, I would say it is better than recent efforts, Nightlife and Release, with one exception - the singles. “I’m With Stupid”, the album’s first major single, is a riff on Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair’s relationship with George W. Bush. While it is certainly the most Trevor Horn of all the tracks (second only to the 1:30 “God Willing”), it relies too heavily on its political content. It falls short as a single, certainly radio-friendly, but mediocre at best. Even more lackluster and predictable is the album’s second single, “Minimal.” Its reliance on an all-to-used vocoded chorus spelling out the word M-I-N-I-M-A-L and bad Ibiza-style synth line throughout are more than enough to overshadow what few good elements lie underneath. The right remix(er), however, could make all the difference. Compared to “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk” from Nightlife or “Home and Dry” from Release, the singles from Fundamental, so far, leave something to be desired.
Having said that, there are plenty of wonderful “deep” cuts on this album to keep the fans coming back for more.

The painfully applicable “I Made My Excuses and Left” is a brilliant account of running into one’s ex, while Chris’s bounce and Neil’s brains on “Twentieth Century” are more than enough to make up for a couple of lacking singles.

Cd1

01. Psychological
02. The Sodom and Gomorrah Show

03. I made my excuses and left
04. Minimal
05. Numb
06. God willing
07. Luna Park
08. I'm with Stupid

09. Casanova in Hell
10. Twentieth Century
11. Indefinite leave to remain
12. Integral

CD2

01. Fugitive (Richard X extended mix)
02. Sodom (Trentmoller remix)
03. Psychological (Alter Egoremix)
04. Flamboyant (Michael Mayer remix)
05. I'm with Stupid (Melnyk mix)
06. In private (Stuart Crichton club mix)
07. Minimal (Lobe remix)
08. Gomorrah (Dettinger remix)

This deluxe two-CD version includes an entire disc of remixes by such names as Richard X, Michael Mayer, and Lobe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Live Photos


 

Singles

 

I'm with Stupid

I'M WITH STUPID 08 May 2006 UK chart #8
CD PROMO 2006: 1. I'm With Stupid [3:27]
CD 2006: 1. I m With Stupid 2. The Resurrectionist
DVD 2006 : 1. I m With Stupid 2. The Resurrectionist - Goetz B. Extended Mix 3. Girls Don t Cry 4. I m With Stupid - CD-Rom Video
7" Picture Single: 1. I'm With Stupid 2. Girls Don't Cry

 

 

Minimal

MINIMAL 24 July 2006 UK chart #19
CD 2006: 1. Minimal [Radio Edit] 2. In Private [Stuart Crichton 7" Mix]
CD 2006: 1. Minimal [Radio Edit] 2. Minimal [Tocadisco's Sunday At Space Mix] 3. Minimal [M-Factor Mix] 4. Minimal [U-Myx Format]
DVD 2006 : 1. Minimal [Telex Hell Remix] 2. Blue On Blue 3. No Time For Tears [7-inch Mix] 4. Minimal [Video]
7" Picture Single: 1. Minimal [Radio Edit] 2. In Private [Stuart Crichton 7" Mix]

 

 

Numb

Numb 16 October 2006
The UK 1st CD single release (2 track CD) includes,'Numb - New Radio Edit' and 'West End Girls - Live At The Mermaid Theatre
The UK 7" vinyl release includes, 'Numb - New Radio Edit' and 'Party Song'
'Numb - Album Version', 'Numb - Accapella' and 'Psychological - Ewan Pearson Vocal Remix

Click Here!


 

"Cubism"

"Cubism", the film of Pet Shop Boys' concert at the Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City, on November 14th, 2006, will be released by Warner Vision on May 21st.

The title is, of course, inspired by the Es Devlin-designed cube that was at the centre of the staging of the tour production. The film of the show was directed by David Barnard who has also directed concert films for Bjork and Gorillaz and the DVD includes a short bonus film, "Pet Shop Boys in Mexico", and an audio commentary by Neil, Chris and David Barnard. The DVD is packaged in a choice of two slip case covers (either Chris or Neil) and contains a booklet with an essay by Chris Heath.

God Willing
We re The Pet Shop Boys
Left to my own devices
Suburbia
I’m With Stupid
Can you forgive her?
Minimal
Shopping
Rent
Heart
Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money)
Integral
Paninaro
Se a vida (That’s the way life is)
Domino Dancing
Dreaming of the Queen
Flamboyant
Home and Dry (Acoustic)
Numb
Always on my mind
Where the streets have no name/I can’t take my eyes off you
So Hard
The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
It’s a sin
West End Girls
Go West
Being Boring