Friday, January 24, 2020

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PET SHOP BOYS/HOTSPOT

PET SHOP BOYS
HOTSPOT

1.24.20

In the Pop Music industry, longevity is a rare thing indeed. Most big-selling acts are in the spotlight for two to five years before sliding off the radar and fading into the shadows. Some acts split up and are never heard from again. Others lose a few members and spend the rest of their careers playing county fairs. And then you have an act like Pet Shop Boys, a British duo that formed 39 years ago and have been crafting hit records since 1985. And thankfully, they show no signs of abandoning the music world anytime soon. And for that, we should all be grateful…

Neil Tennant (vocals) and Chris Lowe (keyboards) were initially lumped in with the Synthpop duo brigade (Soft Cell, Yazoo, Erasure, Naked Eyes, etc.) but they have outlasted and outperformed them all. From early chart hits like “West End Girls,” “It’s A Sin,” “What Have I Done To Deserve This” (with Dusty Springfield), and “Always On My Mind” to club-shaking stormers like “New York City Boy,” “Love Etc.,” “The Pop Kids,” and “Winner,” Pet Shop Boys have helped define Electronic Music, flirting with House, Techno, Dance, Synth, Pop, and a myriad of other styles. Neil and Chris write songs that are designed to make your feet move and your heart soar. With lyrics that range from smarmy and sarcastic to remarkably honest and forthright, Pet Shop Boys are one of the most unique bands to emerge from the UK in the last four decades.


The duo’s 2020 album HOTSPOT is a cornucopia of Electropop stylings. From Disco-drenched floor-fillers to catchy Pop, this is an album that continues their move towards a club-oriented sound. While there are still plenty of melodic hooks to be found on a PSB album, their groove is more inspired by the nightlife than ever before. From the Disco-influenced “Dreamland” (featuring Years & Years) and “Monkey Business” to the House groove of “Happy People”, HOTSPOT is another epic collection of smart Electronic Pop from the guys. However, not everything here is necessarily danceable – they show their pensive/sensitive side on tracks like “You Are The One,” “Only The Dark,” “Hoping For A Miracle,” and “Burning The Heather.” “I Don’t Wanna” is an instantly catchy Pop tune that resembles the PSB of old. So, if you are looking for a place to unwind and get your groove on, I know the perfect HOTSPOT

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