The album opens confidently with the bubbling clavinet funk-rock of "Do What You Do", before slipping, pregnant with understated erotic promise, into "Whatever You Want". The promise lasts all of a minute, as the track mutates into a ghastly Wagnerian thing of thunderous aspect. An overwrought cover of John Waite's "Missing You" follows in like vein, and it's a long hard road back from that point, full of bluster like Sheryl Crow's anthemic "All Kinds Of People" and a version of Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" that compares poorly to Shara Nelson's more subtly impassioned singing on the original.
The celebrity support network is worked to variable effect throughout. Bono & Edge's "Goldeneye" is a decent simulacrum of the Bond-theme style, but "Confidential" has to be one of The Pet Shop Boys' least remarkable compositions.