Perhaps England’s most underrated act (they certainly have never gotten the same love as David Bowie), Pet Shop Boys keep coming back again and again just when you’ve planned to write them off as “too old” to keep making the best dance music currently on the metaphorical airwaves (you know, because radio isn’t really a thing anymore?).
But, once again, they’re back with a new forthcoming album–their thirteenth, to be exact–called Super. The first single from the record, “The Pop Kids,” harkens back to Pet Shop Boys’ purest 80s tracks (think “West End Girls” and “Domino Dancing”). An effervescent beat paints an ebullient image as Neil Tennant sings, “Remember those days, the early 90s? We both applied for places at the same university/Ended up in London where we needed to be to follow our obsession with the music scene.” The calling on of the past is indeed reminiscent of “Being Boring,” in which Tennant brings up specific periods of time.
On some level, of course, “The Pop Kids” are Tennant and Chris Lowe, who have been defiant in their commitment to not only staying true to their genre, but innovating it over time. Tennant asserts, “Wherever we went, whatever we did/We knew the songs/They called us the pop kids/’cause we loved the pop hits,” as though the epithet is almost an insult–and there have been many moments in the history of musical trends when it was.
An addictive bass line–as if PSB is capable of creating any other kind–brings us to the bottom line of the song, which is our favorite dance duo “telling everyone we knew that rock was overrated.” And if the glory of Pet Shop Boys over the decades is any indication, it certainly is.