It's a Pet Shop Boys album, so by definition it is great. Thematically, it's very coherent, but it subsides a bit towards the end for me. It shares a lot in common with Super. One was about getting out of your head, the other about just getting out. Funnily enough, while I think Electric is one of their top five albums, I find it makes less sense thematically than either of its successors. It relies less on any holistic theme and wows simply on the basis of its excitement. I can't help feel that this whole idea of a "trilogy" is a confected notion with little to back it up. Other than all being produced by Stuart Price, I'm not sure there is an all-encompassing concept to tie them together. Does Hotspot really have much more in common with Electric than it does with, say, Yes? I'm not convinced.canveyboy wrote: ↑Sun 24 Jan 2021, 1:57 pm A year today since the final work in the Stuart Price trilogy was released. Little did we know what was about to unfold on the world in the weeks after.
One year on, what’s your thoughts about Hotspot?
I think it’s miles better than Super but not as good as Electric. I much preferred the return to proper short pop songs.
Highlights for me were Only the Dark, Hoping for a miracle, Dreamland, Monkey Business, I don’t wanna. And great b-sides in New Boy, Decide and An open mind
In terms of where it stands in the catalogue, I don't think it's a particularly significant record. Neither was Super. Both are fine records, but I don't think they had a "killer app" in the way Electric heralded a sudden revival of what had seemed a moribund vitality. Very and Fundamental also restated something loved and apparently mislaid by Pet Shop Boys.
Unlike, say, Bilingual, Hotspot boasts a generally consistent level of quality - but conversely has fewer genuine peaks. In my view, only Will-o-the-wisp stands as a genuinely top rank Pet Shop Boys track. Most of the tracks here are at various states of very good, with one or two dipping below that individually. Wedding in Berlin is a better title than it is a track, but it does still manage to make sense on what is sometimes a weird album.
To my ears at least, Price had less impact this time around. The more traditional song lengths seemed to discipline him - and, arguably, smothered any added inspiration he might have added. I enjoyed the slightly deranged meandering routes some of the longer tracks on previous albums took. The whole Berlin sound thing is an affectation. It's a Pet Shop Boys album that, generally, sounds like a Pet Shop Boys album that happens to take some lyrical and narrative inspiration from Berlin. All in all, I think this is a less immediate album with fewer instant classics, but it rewards as a single experience.