Album: Pet Shop Boys, Yes, (Parlophone)

Just don't call it a return to form...
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The Independent Culture

Let us dispense, right away, with any clichéd crit-speak about a "stunning return to form". Show me when the Pet Shop Boys ever lost it, and I'll call you a liar.

The 10th PSB album kicks off with "Love Etc", the sentiments of Prince's "Kiss" given a Noughties makeover by Brian "Xenomania" Higgins, whose magic fingers are also all over "The Way It Used to Be" and "More Than a Dream", an unstoppable piece of future-pop along the lines of Girls Aloud's "Call the Shots". The Higgins-free "All Over the World" is just as irresistible: Jeff Lynne and Tchaikovsky to a disco beat. Tennant's lyrical themes lean towards celebrity culture: "Pandemonium" tells the Pete 'n' Kate story from model Moss's point of view, and miraculously makes them likeable. Songs like "King of Rome", "Beautiful People" and "Legacy" have an autumnal poignancy, which a casual observer might ascribe to the duo's middle age. But go back and listen to 1990's "Being Boring", and be honest: when was that mood ever not there?

Pick of the album: Go west, east, north and south: 'All Over the World'

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