Released - Scheduled for Autumn 2012
The Pet Shop Boys' as-yet-untitled eleventh studio album (twelfth if you count Relentless, as I'm inclined to) is slated for Autumn 2012 release, with September cited by Neil during a March 2012 interview as the most likely month. It was recorded and mixed in Los Angeles in early 2012, although Chris and Neil had written most if not all of its songs back in London the year before. They traveled to southern California in January 2012 and remained there for roughly two months to work with producer Andrew Dawson. A classically trained musician, Dawson has proven highly successful as an audio engineer and has won several Grammy Awards in that capacity, primarily with such popular hip-hop acts as Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg, among many others. Having recently expanded into full-fledged production work, Dawson seemed a good candidate to fulfill the Boys' long-stated desire to record an album with an American hip-hop producer.
As Dawson explained to interviewer Robbie Daw for Idolator. com, "I got an email one day out of the blue from their manager that was like, 'Would you like to talk to Neil and Chris about working on their next album?' I was like, hell, yeah—I would love to talk to Neil and Chris about working on their next album!… So Neil and Chris and I started talking on the phone. They sent me some demos of songs that they had been recording over the past year." They wanted to record in Los Angeles (which they had never done before) to "get that classic L.A. sound," and they ended up recording most of the album at Dawson's new SoundEQ studio. Dawson went on to describe how recording the album was a highly collaborative process with a tremendous exchange of ideas between himself and the Boys.
Although there was a good deal of speculation early as to whether the album would feature any collaborations with hip-hop artists, Neil apparently squelched any rumors to that effect in a March 2012 interview in which he said that no such collaborations would be included. This is not to say, however, that the album doesn't boast a number of guests artists in supporting roles. For instance, indie guitarist Adam Tressler is known to have contributed some instrumental backing, and background vocals for at least one track reportedly feature at least some of the same singers who had appeared on the classic 1983 Michael Jackson hit "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." In addition, orchestral parts were recorded at the legendary Capitol Records Studios located in the equally legendary Capitol Tower in Hollywood, where countless classic tracks by everyone from Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole to the Beach Boys and Green Day have been committed to posterity.
Following an advance listen to the album in early June 2012, the Popjustice website described it as "a complicated collection of songs" with a "warm and reflective character." Around that same time, one of its tracks, "Invisible," was leaked (intentionally or otherwise) to the Internet, with Popjustice speculating that other similar "leaks" might soon follow as part of a modern-age promotional strategy.
So far little other information is available at this time. I will of course post further details here as soon as I learn of them.
All text on this website aside from direct quotations (such as of lyrics and of other nonoriginal content) is copyright © 2001-2012 by Wayne Studer. All Rights Reserved. All lyrics and images copyright © their respective dates by their respective owners. Brief quotations and small, low-resolution images are used for identification and critical commentary; it is therefore believed that they constitute Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. Billboard chart data are copyright © their respective dates by Nielsen Business Media, Inc.