How do you regard Erasure in comparison with the Pet Shop Boys? Aren't they very much alike?

Erasure In many ways, yes, they are very much alike, at least superficially. Both are British synthpop duos who started off in the 1980s and have openly gay vocalist/lyricists. And I do like Erasure tremendously, counting them among my favorites. But I like the Pet Shop Boys far more. Pet Shop Boys

I believe Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys are comparable as performers, although I think Neil and Chris put on a better show overall. I also think the Boys have a better sense of style. But, much more importantly, they're vastly superior songwriters. Clarke/Bell is a pretty good songwriting team. But Tennant/Lowe is, in my opinion, a truly great songwriting team. More pointedly, Andy simply isn't in the same league as Neil when it comes to writing lyrics.

For every two Erasure songs that I like, I can name another that I don't care for. By contrast, out of more than 300 PSB songs to date, I can honestly say that (as I note elsewhere) there are only three that I dislike: "The Sound of the Atom Splitting," "Love Is a Catastrophe," and "Ego Music." To put it another way, I like about 67% of what Erasure does, whereas I enjoy roughly 99% of the Pet Shop Boys' output. Also, I find both the early and more recent albums by Erasure rather weak—I think they peaked in the 1990s with the albums from Chorus through Cowboy—whereas PSB's albums were top-notch from the start and have, in my opinion, maintained an unremitting level of excellence. (Let's just say that Disco 2 was an anomaly. )

I have a warped little dream: that someday Erasure will release an album of nothing but Tennant/Lowe songs, perhaps including a few remakes but ideally made up mostly of previously unreleased originals. Better yet, the Pet Shop Boys would also produce the album, while allowing Clarke a free hand with his synth arrangements, of which he is an absolute master. One song could even be a "duet," in which both Vince and Chris play instruments and both Andy and Neil sing. (Can you imagine a love-duet between those two? Half of me thrills at the thought; the other half cringes in horror.) Such an album could be nirvana. (Please note the lower-case n.) Of course, it will almost certainly never happen, but I still love to imagine it.

C'mon guys—you can work it out.