Pet Shop Boys
That glossy exterior is the key to toning down any potential confrontation in the Boys' political views: The mellow "Indefinite Leave to Remain" rails against Britain's immigration system but could just as easily be a love ballad with Tennant's tender croon. "Integral" addresses the plans for a British national identity card with techno-styled electronics and beat.
Unfortunately, "Fundamental" falters when the Boys step off their political platform. The Diane Warren-penned "Numb" is too sluggish and subdued, while the breakup narrative "I Made My Excuses and Left" seems almost juvenile in its straightforwardness, especially compared with "Fundamental's" more cerebral material.
-- Catherine P. Lewis