Electric (Pet Shop Boys album)

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Electric
Pet Shop Boys - Electric.png
Studio album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 12 July 2013 (2013-07-12)[1]
Recorded September 2012 – April 2013
Genre
Length 49:12
Label x2
Producer Stuart Price
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Elysium
(2012)Elysium2012
Electric
(2013)
Super
(2016)Super2016
Singles from Electric
  1. "Axis"
    Released: 1 May 2013
  2. "Vocal"
    Released: 3 June 2013
  3. "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct"
    Released: 2 September 2013
  4. "Thursday"
    Released: 4 November 2013
  5. "Fluorescent"
    Released: 19 April 2014

Electric is the twelfth studio album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys, released on 12 July 2013, and is their first album not to be released on Parlophone. It was released on the duo's own label, x2, through Kobalt Label Services.

In their native United Kingdom, Electric was BBC Radio 2's Album of the Week from 8 July 2013. It features a collaboration with British singer-songwriter/rapper Example.

Electric hit No. 3 and No. 26 in the UK and US respectively, their highest chart performances in both territories in 20 years. The album also performed very well in other markets. It was supported by the Electric Tour which visited 46 countries through 112 concerts.[4]

Background and release[edit]

Pet Shop Boys recorded the album in London, Berlin and Los Angeles from November 2012 to April 2013.[5] On 30 April 2013, the duo announced on their website that they had recorded the album over the "last six months", with "Fluorescent" in particular "written and recorded within the last month". Stuart Price was chosen to produce the album.[5] Price finished mixing the album in late April 2013.[6]

When Pet Shop Boys began working with Price, they made it clear that they wanted to make a "dance record". Price stated that his goal was for every track to have a "euphoric, fresh feel to it".[6] The more dance-influenced nature of Electric was a response to the "reflective mood" of their previous album, Elysium.[5]

The album is the first Pet Shop Boys studio album that was not released through Parlophone. The 28-year relationship between the duo and the label ended when Pet Shop Boys announced that Electric would be released through Kobalt Label Services.[7] Pet Shop Boys subsequently announced that the album would appear on their own label, x2 (pronounced "times two"), under the Kobalt banner.[5] Chris Lowe was given credit for naming the label. Pet Shop Boys intend to release all of their future albums on x2.[8]

The album was simultaneously released worldwide on 15 July 2013 in four formats: CD, digital download, Playbutton and LP.[5]

Promotion[edit]

On 14 March 2013, Pet Shop Boys debuted a short trailer for Electric on YouTube.[7]

In support of the album, the duo embarked on the Electric tour, which began on 22 March 2013 at the Cumbre Tajín festival in Veracruz, Mexico, where they debuted two songs from the album: "Axis" and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's 2007 song "The Last to Die".[9] The tour's first official date took place at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile on 13 May 2013.[10]

On 30 April 2013, immediately following the official album announcement on Pet Shop Boys' website, the lead single "Axis" premiered online,[5][11] and was released digitally the following day.[12] The Boys Noize remix of the song was released on 14 May.[13]

The second official single "Vocal" premiered on 1 June 2013 on DJ Dave Pearce's BBC Radio 2 show Dance Years,[14] followed by a digital release on 3 June.[15] A CD single, digital download and 12" vinyl single were all released on 29 July 2013, featuring new remixes of the song.[16] A music video for the single was released on 18 June.[17]

The entire album was available for streaming in the UK via The Guardian.[18]

The third official single "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct" was announced on 22 July 2013, with a release on 2 September.[16] The single contains remixes and two B-sides, "Entschuldigung!" and "Get It Online".[19] "Thursday" was the fourth single from Electric, digitally released on 4 November 2013. The single contains remixes and two B-sides, "No More Ballads", "Odd Man Out". The video footage for the video was shot in Shanghai.[20]

On 27 March 2014, Pet Shop Boys announced they would be releasing Fluorescent as a limited edition 12" vinyl to celebrate Record Store Day 2014 on April 19.[21]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 84/100[22]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[23]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[24]
Daily Mail 4/5 stars[25]
Drowned in Sound (9/10)[26]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[27]
The Independent 4/5 stars[28]
Mojo 4/5 stars[29]
musicOMH 5/5 stars[30]
Q 4/5 stars[31]
The Telegraph 5/5 stars[32]
Pitchfork Media 7.0/10[33]

Upon its release Electric received rave reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 84, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 28 reviews.[22] Dorian Lynskey of Q praised several songs on the album and noted that, "With Electric, Pet Shop Boys have succeeded spectacularly."[34] Simon Price, music critic for the Independent on Sunday, described the album as "sublime".[35] The Telegraph commented "Electric is the second really fantastic pop-dance blast of the year". SlantMagazine appointed 25 better albums of 2013, with Electric at number 10. Uncut Magazine appointed 80 better albums of 2013, with Electric at number 33. PopJustice appointed 33 better albums of 2013, with Electric at number 5, describing "Disco bells". Q Magazine appointed 50 better albums of 2013, with Electric at number 30.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number three in the United Kingdom on the UK Albums Chart, selling 15,715 copies in its first week, becoming their highest-charting studio album since Very topped the chart in 1993.[36][37]

In the United States, Electric debuted at number 26 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 11,000 copies, becoming their highest-charting album since Very charted at number 20 in 1993.[38] It also debuted at number two on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Axis" 5:32
2. "Bolshy" 5:44
3. "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct" (Tennant, Lowe, Henry Purcell) 6:41
4. "Fluorescent" 6:14
5. "Inside a Dream" 5:37
6. "The Last to Die" (Bruce Springsteen) 4:12
7. "Shouting in the Evening" 3:36
8. "Thursday" (featuring Example) (Tennant, Lowe, Elliot Gleave) 5:02
9. "Vocal" 6:34

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Electric adapted from album liner notes.[41]

  • Neil Tennant – songwriter (1–5, 7–9)
  • Chris Lowe – songwriter (1–5, 7–9)
  • Henry Purcell – songwriter (3)
  • Bruce Springsteen – songwriter (6)
  • Elliot Gleave – songwriter (8)
  • Stuart Price – additional vocals (3), producer, engineer, additional programming, mixing
  • Andy Crookston – additional vocals (3)
  • Luke Halls – additional vocals (3)
  • Pete Gleadall – additional engineering and programming (3, 6, 9), additional vocals (3)
  • Adam Blake – handclaps (5)
  • Jessica Freedman – additional vocals (8)
  • Katharine Anne Hoye – additional vocals (8)
  • Brian Gardner – mastering

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[42] 24
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[43] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[44] 25
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[45] 20
Canadian Albums[46] 21
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[47] 4
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[48] 2
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[49] 15
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[50] 5
French Albums (SNEP)[51] 34
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[52] 3
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[53] 40
Irish Albums (IRMA)[54] 18
Italian Albums (FIMI)[55] 37
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[56] 1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[57] 50
Scottish Albums[58] 10
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[59] 5
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[60] 11
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[61] 6
UK Albums (OCC)[62] 3
US Billboard 200[63] 26
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[64] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Electric". JB Hi-Fi Australia. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.crossfadr.com/2013/07/26/why-electric-shows-the-pet-shop-boys-do-edm-better-than-anyone/
  3. ^ http://thequietus.com/articles/12382-pet-shop-boys-electric-review
  4. ^ http://petshopboys.co.uk/news/5896/201410
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Electric – the new album". petshopboys.co.uk. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Sherburne, Philip (24 April 2013). "Jacques Lu Cont Talks Tracques, Pet Shop Boys, and Les Rythmes Digitales' Return". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Breaking news". petshopboys.co.uk. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Our new label". petshopboys.co.uk. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "First Electric date". petshopboys.co.uk. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Electric tour begins". petshopboys.co.uk. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Pet Shop Boys reveal details of 'banging' new album – listen". NME. IPC Media. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Axis – Single by Pet Shop Boys". iTunes Store Australia. Apple. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Axis (Boys Noize Remix) – Single by Pet Shop Boys". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Vocal on Radio 2". petshopboys.co.uk. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Vocal – Single by Pet Shop Boys". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  16. ^ a b http://petshopboys.co.uk/news/4247
  17. ^ http://petshopboys.co.uk/news/-/201306
  18. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/jul/09/pet-shop-boys-electric-album-stream
  19. ^ http://petshopboys.co.uk/news
  20. ^ http://petshopboys.co.uk/pettexts/4346/201308
  21. ^ http://www.digitalspy.com/music/news/a560572/pet-shop-boys-to-release-fluorescent-vinyl-for-record-store-day.html
  22. ^ a b "Electric Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
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  24. ^ https://medium.com/cuepoint/robert-christgau-expert-witness-7c31c7a0b19
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  29. ^ Segal, Victoria (22 June 2013). "Pet Shop Boys – Electric". Mojo. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  30. ^ http://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/pet-shop-boys-electric
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  32. ^ McCormick, Neil (4 July 2013). "Pet Shop Boys, Electric, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  33. ^ Wolk, Douglas (23 July 2013). "Pet Shop Boys, Electric, album review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
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  35. ^ https://twitter.com/simon_price01/status/355229945879998464
  36. ^ Lane, Daniel (21 July 2013). "Robin Thicke scores his first ever Official Albums Chart-topper with Blurred Lines.". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
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