Pet Shop Boys: Bilingual

Pet Shop Boys: Bilingual

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Pet Shop Boys

Album: Bilingual
Label: Atlantic

Pet Shop Boys' most recent studio album, Very, was in many ways the band's definitive album: Simultaneously sad and triumphant, minor-key and defiantly gay, it was full of bittersweet moments like the duo's subtext-laden cover of the Village People's "Go West." In the years that have passed since Very, Pet Shop Boys' output has been limited to a remix album and a B-sides collection, so it's refreshing to hear that the band continues to develop its sound on the new Bilingual. Like its predecessor, a pretty sadness pervades tracks that in less skilled hands would be mere dance-pop cheese: Singer Neil Tennant is just about the only person alive who can deadpan the lyric, "I'm an artist, honey," without it being an embarrassment. Bilingual's first half is surprisingly diverse, ranging from near-rap ("Metamorphosis") to bilingual pop ("Se A Vida E"). Right at its midpoint, the album abruptly shifts tones with the anthemic "Red Letter Day," which alone should assure an audience for this fine addition to Pet Shop Boys' catalog.

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