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A year before Daft Punk channelled the sands of California soft rock into Random Access Memories, British pop duo Pet Shop Boys made a pilgrimage to Los Angeles to record their languorous Elysium album with producer Andrew Dawson.
Fans and critics were torn by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe's often acerbic mid-tempo introspection. In particular, Tennant has said, the duo was stung by an iTunes reviewer who felt that Elysium needed "more banging and lasers."
It wasn't long before they were back in London with Madonna collaborator Stuart Price. The result should not disappoint fans of unabashed banging: Electric is a gorgeously produced non-stop dance party largely about the joys of dancing non-stop.
While its thunderous rhythms could swallow lesser songwriters, PSB are consistently good at mixing the contemporary with timeless flourishes - bells, choral singers, counting the days of the week - that feel uniquely theirs. The record is effusive but unsentimental, pointedly funny (Love Is A Bourgeois Construct) and occasionally subversive (The Last To Die, a Springsteen cover).
Top track: Love Is A Bourgeois Construct