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Pet Shop Boys / new album ‘Hotspot’

Pet Shop Boys / Hotspot

The Pet Shop Boys‘ new album will be called Hotspot and is due at the end of January next year.

Hotspot is Neil and Chris’ 14th studio album and is the follow-up to 2016’s Super. It was recorded mostly in Berlin’s legendary Hansa Studios [check out SDE’s visit in 2016] and like the previous two albums it has been produced by Stuart Price. The Pet Shop Boys have stated that this is the last instalment of a trilogy of Price-produced albums, which suggests they’ll use someone else, next time.

The single ‘Dreamland’ has already been released, and another track, the autumnal ‘Burning The Heather’ (which features Bernard Butler on guitar) can be previewed below.

Pet Shop Boys say: “We’ve written much of our music over the last ten years in Berlin and it was an exciting experience to work on this album in the legendary Hansa studios there and add a new dimension to our sound.”

Hotspot is released on vinyl and CD on 24 January 2020. There appear to be no special editions for either format.

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Hotspot - CD edition

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1. Will-O-The-Wisp
2. You Are The One
3. Happy People
4. Dreamland
5. Hoping For A Miracle
6. I Don’t Wanna
7. Monkey Business
8. Only The Dark
9. Burning The Heather
10. Wedding In Berlin

65 responses to Pet Shop Boys / new album ‘Hotspot’

  1. bertielego says:

    A 2xCD edition is available now on the PSB web store, with the album in instrumental version as second disc.

  2. SeanL says:

    Signed prints now available at the PSB website with all preorders

  3. william says:

    This is just a very bland song.

  4. Stevie B says:

    Thanks for all the comments about my review. As an update ‘Burning the Heather (Radio Edit)’ will be released as part of an iTunes (and other providers) EP
    The EP will be £2.49. To get the two new tracks which are ‘album only’ you’ll have to fork out for ‘BTH (RE)’
    a second time. If they tracks become available to buy separately you’ll still have paid more if you bought the single when it came out last week.

    The single should have been included as already purchased as part of this EP for those FANS like me who SUPPORT a band by buying on the release day (even when the music is below par).

    This is ripping fans off. The even more dreadful artwork for this new single is REAL as a 7” single with two tracks will be released with the same ‘I took this photo accidentally when I dropped my iphone’ Artwork. POTSHOT!

  5. Metal Mickey says:

    Sorry to be another downer, but what we’re hearing so far really isn’t exciting me for the new album. You’ll have to take my word for it that I’ve been a fan from the first release of Opportunities, but these first tracks seem perfunctory at best. The best news is that they seem to be finishing with Stuart Price, who’s been at the tiller for their two worst albums – you could cherry-pick an adequate single album from the best tracks from Electric and Super, but little more.

    Yes, I’ll buy Hotspot (that title!) when it comes out, but I’m not counting the days, and I can’t justify the ticket prices for next year’s tour either, though I’m sure it’ll be a good show… just wait for the DVD I guess!

    (And that’s a single sleeve if I ever saw one, not an album.)

  6. Mr Smyth says:

    I hope this just turns out to be a bad blip like “Elysium” & the best thing they do is not the “Annually” book. Ultimately, no matter how good someone is / was, sooner or later there will be nothing left in the ideas cupboard & it’s then they should then know it’s time to knock it on the head,

  7. Stevie B says:

    I don’t think it’s unfair as a fan to comment on what you think of the look of an album and the two tracks that will be on it. I don’t get why that’s being bitchy?

    I’ve been a fan since ‘Opportunities’ came out and as such you get a vibe from the artwork (Release, Elysium) and usually unfortunately those bad vibes turned out to be true, they were crap albums.

    Neil can think their the best thing PSB have ever done but they weren’t. Now we have this new marketing concept where you release ‘tasters’ and the tasters so far only seem to confirm the worse.

    The Agenda EP was weak and embarrassing. Thank GOD none of that has appeared here, they weren’t even good as ‘B-Sides’.

    I don’t get how this links in with the ‘trilogy’, the artwork has NOTHING to do with the last two albums
    It’s BORING, the font is dreadful, it’s like something someone ran up on iTunes/Photoshop while rush recording a playlist and needing some artwork for the CD they just burned!

    HOTSPOT! Jeez!

    They’ve spent the last 10 years in Berlin and we get a song that no doubt will garner rave reviews in ‘The Lady’ or ‘Town and Country’ magazine, but really Neil/Kathy its time to hang up the cloth cap and riding boots, Heathcliffe F’d off and left you years ago… Get yourself into a dark room in a Berlin nightclub with Chris and listen to those THUMPS!

    I want spunk splattered white/Clear Vinyl in a Leather sleeve with a free pair of handcuffs/bottle of poppers and a gimp mask… not this will o’ the Wisp nonsense… HOTSPOT? Give me a break… more like HOTPOT!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Pet Shop Boys are normally known for brilliant artwork, so as Stevie B says it’s hardly off-topic to discuss.

    • bob says:

      The first part of your bizarre post was fair, the rest you just sounded bitter and angry. Pet Shop Boys have always released mellow songs, they don’t have to confirm to your stereotype. Neil and Chris have a combined age of 125 years, maybe you need to move on to a younger act.

      As for the album cover I think it’s really good, certainly better than the last three covers.
      Like most artists of their age they no longer have their full faces on the cover of their albums.

    • Edson says:

      Don’t be naive. Of Course Neil knows which are the best PSB albums, but with every new release he can’t say ohterwise. because he’s promotting them. The last record is ALWAYS the best blah blah blah….

  8. musicoloog says:

    Funny to read all these comments. Former fans, die-hard fans, regular fans… Some of us here are wishing, longing for or almost even demanding the perfect PSB album and songs, over and over, but the song(s) that made you to be a PSB fan already exist(s). I’m not waiting for another ‘Domino Dancing’, ‘Being Boring’ or whatever great tune they made. I’m looking for new songs and I am almost certain in a few years time I will listen to some tracks of ‘Hotspot’ and think ‘Wow, this is really great!!’. That’s what happens. And of course not all tracks are perfect or mega-hits.
    PSB were huge back in the day when it was a surprise when out of the blue there was a new single. Nowadays we can hear tracks, albums, remixes months before its official release date. No surprises anymore. But (unfortunately)…times change!

    Regarding the artwork. Well, I really don’t care, it’s the music that counts. Some sleeves are great some aren’t. You can’t satisfy everybody everytime.

    However I do ‘miss’ the deluxe editions. This new album could feature the limited “Agenda” EP as bonus tracks on CD1 and a bonus disc including music (PSB demos/versions) from the two recently performed plays. Perhaps the digital only remixes of ‘Dreamland’ could be on CD2 as well…

    So here my suggestion for ‘Hotspot (Deluxe Edition)’.

    CD1:
    “Hotspot”
    · Will-O-The-Wisp
    · You Are The One
    · Happy People
    · Dreamland
    · Hoping For A Miracle
    · I Don’t Wanna
    · Monkey Business
    · Only The Dark
    · Burning The Heather
    · Wedding In Berlin

    “Agenda EP”
    · Give Stupidity A Chance
    · On Social Media
    · What Are We Going To Do About The Rich?
    · The Forgotten Child

    CD2:
    “Musik”
    · Mongrel
    · Soup
    · Ich Bin Musik
    · For Every Moment

    “My Beautiful Laundrette”
    · Angelic Thug [instrumental]
    · Johnny’s Dark Side
    · Omar’s Theme
    · Beautiful Laundrette
    · Night Sings (Popa’s Theme)
    · Angelic Thug [vocal]
    · Beautiful Laundrette Theme

    “Dreamland (Remixes)”
    · Dreamland (Jacques Renault Remix)
    · Dreamland (TWD Dub)

  9. memoryboy says:

    I love the new album’s name. ‘Hotspot’
    I love the album art.
    The cover looks like a dreary, cold winter day. I consider it art. It’s a nice change of pace from their usual. But the name ‘Hotspot’ goes well with it.

    I like the single ‘Dreamland’. It took a few listens. It’s grown on me. The remixes for ‘Dreamland’ are amazing. And the B-sides are already in my top favorite PSB songs.

    The new single released is good. ‘Burning The Heather’. It’s mellow. Definitely an album track and not really single material. But it’s very good.

    I am excited to hear the rest of this album.
    I thought their last two albums were great.

  10. -SG- says:

    Looking at the comments… with fans like these, who needs critics?
    30 years ago I never expected that PSB would still be making music today.
    This new one reminds me of a Bilingual era b-side. I like it and will definitely get yhe new record.
    For me personally, I would prefer they just got their old gear from 1988-1991 and just recorded something with that. Skip being contemporary or even trying to aknowledge current trends, just own the empire that they settled. In essence that is the Greatest Hits, but really I want a new PSB album that truly sounds like it was recorded 30 years ago. Perhaps produced by Blank & Jones. Now THAT would sound fresh.

  11. martin farnworth says:

    By PSB standards this is descending towards mediocrity, kind of atmospheric but a little bit dull. Was unimpressed with Dream(b)land and the Agenda EP also. Still it’s only fair to wait for the full album. I can’t see them ever writing another classic even if a PSB album usually has a couple of great moments. What’s a bit concerning is following the album with a greatest hits tour (nothing wrong with that in itself). But it hints at not having faith in the new material. Surely they’ll do at least a few new tracks?

    • Shawn C. says:

      I guess I have to disagree. The last thing fans, even hardcore fans, want is to go see a PSB show that is heavy on the most recent album with minimal hits. I think you’re in the minority of fans who want to see that from any artist – I’ve been to several shows by different artists where they went heavy on their newest album and left fans frustrated and disappointed. When you have a lengthy recording history like PSB, you simply have to do a hits tour with a sprinkling of newer stuff or you’re going to disappoint your fans.

      • shingouz says:

        I can’t understand how true fans can be excited to hear the same old hits being played live over and over, tour after tour. Bring on deep cuts and new material, I say! Greatest hits tours are for casual fans who go and check out the band live once every 15 years.

  12. Ern says:

    I’m loving the comments here, including the haters who want PSB to retire. We know what 1/5 of the album sounds like but it is the worst ever, according to some.

    So far it is no different to a movie trailer where some people will dismiss a movie because of 3 minutes of footage. Granted, it gives you a fair idea what the plot is and it tends to throw in the best action beats and one-liners. But we still have no idea what the rest of the album is like. So let’s dismiss them as has beens then. Not a fan then?
    If you want know, I think Dreamland, which got to No 1 in the physical sales chart, is just an ok track but I’m not going to dismiss a whole album because of it. I do like Burning The Heather a lot. It’s not Being Boring or 50 other songs that can be mentioned and why should it be. They have already written those songs so why do it again?

    As for the album cover, is it a reference to the last song on Super “Into Thin Air”?

  13. probablyrustin says:

    I’m excited for the new album as I always am with theirs but the new track doesn’t really do much of anything new… And isn’t exactly a great retread either. It’s more “Release” b-side, pleasant but unremarkable. Hmm…

  14. Robert says:

    I love the cover. It’s “art”. Google it.

    Besides, will all the complainers be playing the CD in their player or the CD insert?

  15. Alan says:

    I quite like the album cover. Finally, photographic. The only time that’s happened on a studio album since Fundamental is the beach/sea scene on Elysium. The rest have been very simple artwork. Kind of follows up Nightlife – whereas then it was just their heads that were blurred, this time it’s their whole bodies. Also relates to the “Invisible” track on Elysium where Neil mentioned it was about becoming more invisible to other people as you visibly age.

  16. Brian says:

    I’m surprised at people complaining! It’s Pet Shop Boys! Most Successful british pop duo of all time. Still being relevant. Still making hits. Thank goodness for them, there is so few good artists these Days. Love the new cover and I am personally glad that it’s not all “Lazers and Banging”. I found Electric too repetitive. Bolshy Bolshy Bolshy, no.

  17. Cornelius says:

    Love the PSB’s. But blimey, the album cover is dreadful. It’s like the aftermath of an earthquake. And ‘Hotspot’ sounds like something you’d go to the Dr’s with.

  18. Paul Nesmith says:

    Life is too short to listen to this tired pointless unmemorable nonsense,its dull unoriginal and boring,its time for Lowe and Tennant to take a dramatic new direction or just call it a day,they are old men clinging on to past glories and its just embarrassing and unedifying,maybe do more film score work like Battleship Potemkin or The Most Incredible Thing,Direct a kitchen sink film or something like It Couldnt Happen Here in 1987,do a concept Album like Sparks The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman,take a leaf out of their book,2 men of a similar age who strive to do original new work
    The 3 minute pop song which has been their bread and butter is dead and finished,the barrel has been well and truly scraped by them and the world and his dog,just give it up,do something completely out of the box akin to Scott Walker or David Sylvian,anything is better than wheeling in an uninspired Bernard Butler to strum along to some tuneless meandering dross,produce a J Pop Album for a 15 year old Japanese nymphet,anything,just use your imagination for Gods sake Come On!

    • AndyB says:

      Jaded? I kinda like it.

    • Shawn C. says:

      Wow. Life’s too short to listen to the music, but plenty of time to write a derogatory comment about an album you haven’t even heard? I’d say you’re in a significant minority of PSB fans who want to hear Battleship Potemkin 2.

  19. O(+> Peter B says:

    A concern with buying new PSB albums is not knowing if there will be Further Listening editions in 10 years time. There hasn’t been any special editions of their last 2 albums… yet! (That being said, their last 2 albums were good.)

  20. Brian Smith says:

    PSB chug along in the background with album after album and the public at large never hear them. Its a shame because a song like this should be heard. I like the use of Acoustic guitar

  21. Kittens69 says:

    Long-time fan, but patience wearing thin. The ‘Agenda’ EP was hard work and the ballad is a tad meandering. As for the cover art… This band have had so many gloriously iconic album sleeves that popped on the racks, but not this one. Really what’s the point? Seems counterintuitive to pick such an unattractive cover that neither bookends the trilogy (which has had a strong graphic look until now) nor makes a standalone statement. All a bit disappointing so far; still hoping to be persuaded. PS had no idea there was Erasure/PSBs fan rivalry; quaint.

  22. Otto says:

    I like the song. I also like the latest songs from Dreamland. It’s a bit confusing because they are going back to form after the last 2 albums but I thought that was a trilogy of some sort. Maybe it gets more clear when the full album arrives. I’m very exciting these artist are still having fun making albums.

  23. Brian Scott says:

    14 studio albums – wow!! Having been with them since the start I’m amazed they are still turning out decent stuff, I’ve been surprised by how many non-PSB fans have commented how much they like Dreamland, so they must be still be doing something right. I agree this second track is a tad dreary but hey folks, give them a break. They’ve released 14 albums and every one has had at least a few really good tracks and at least half have been pretty special, how many of our other favourite bands can claim that I wonder? And their concerts are always a fun and thoroughly enjoyable night out.

  24. Not a fan says:

    Lol. So much mad from so many people. Don’t like it, don’t buy it, but shut up about it. Probably some annoyed erasure fans, angry that they have to wait longer for a new album that will no doubt detail more of Andy’s failing vocals.
    Personally,I like dreamland. Better than anything on Super, which was anything but, in my humble opinion.
    I’m enjoying this new track. Don’t care about the cover, the music is what matters. Looking forward to the drop in January.

  25. SJ says:

    Also, PSB Literally and Versus America books being released March 2020.

  26. R.Hnat says:

    love this song, the more you listen the better it is ! can’t wait for the new album !

  27. Jason says:

    Good Lord the naysayers are out in full force already…how bitchy! The song is most certainly not my favorite song of theirs but not TERRIBLE. (Listen to Madonna’s recent album for comparison.) It’s an autumnal track that is obviously not meant as a typical radio single. However, if one listens to the 2 Dreamland b-sides, An Open Mind and No Boundaries, it baffles why they’d be cut from the album when they’re really great songs as good as this one. Maybe when we hear the album in full it will all make sense.

    I just wish they’d stop calling this an “electronic trilogy” as this seems to have no discernable unifying factor with Electric or Super from sound to artwork other than the producer involved. The cover reminds me more of the minimalism of Fundamental or the blurred Nightlife image than the two predecessors. Seems like this will be a more regular type of PSB pop album really, but unlike some I rather enjoyed the Agenda EP so another batch of songs is a gift. Think of how many decades they’ve been consistently putting out material, never seemingly suffering a major writer’s block. Astonishing! Every album of theirs is an event in my house (yes, even Release and Elysium). The album isn’t even out yet, so people should probably chill out a little. I can see where if you’re not into “autumnal” or “reflective” you might not be blown away by “Heather”. Heck, I’m not a Years & Years fan and don’t want them on Dreamland (unnecessary) but I can at least accept it in order to save my anger for things that are worthy of it.

    • Bob says:

      I think they just want to say trilogy to compare to Bowie’s amazing sequence from the same studio and city. No comparison though.

  28. Michael says:

    I like Dreamland a lot. Have not heard the new song yet. Am very much looking forward to the cd in winter. Already preordered from PSB shop. The Dreamland ep will help in the wait. I still love Super and the recent live album…so very excited by what is next. I am surprised to see all the negativity here…but it is the internet.

  29. Blessed Brian says:

    Awful album title, awful album cover! Nothing has impressed me about this album so far & I’ve been a fan since the beginning. Beginning of the end?

  30. Jeff says:

    Hold on!! I’ve seen this album cover before!!! REM’s fantastic album Around The Sun. Look it Up! (Pardon the Rem album title Pun)

    And that’s all I have to say about that (Jennay!)

  31. Ken says:

    Yeah I kind of agree with Michael M that Liza Minnelli’s Results is a really strong LP that is kind of the Pet Shop boys with an iconic female vocalist rather than Neil Tenant doing the singing. All the elements that make PSB fab are all present on the LM LP. If my memory serves me well(i.e I aint listened to it for a few years!) I recall you can even hear Neil Tenant doing lots of backing singing on this LP too.So any PSB fan will enjoy Results!

  32. horia says:

    PSB, time to quit.
    Awful song.

  33. Mike Gray says:

    Neil said specifically that Dreamland wasn’t representative of the overall album when he gave his talk in Manchester a few weeks back

  34. shaboo says:

    PSB limited and deluxe editions were a Parlophone/EMI thing. As soon as PSB left Parlophone and founded their own label x2 in 2013 they stopped doing this. There weren’t limited editions of Elecric and Super and I assume there’ll also be no limited edition of Hotspot.

  35. Ern says:

    There were not any special editions for the last two albums and I won’t be expecting one for this album either.
    I have a feeling that the two tracks that are out there so far will make a lot more sense when listened to as part of the whole album. Same with the album cover. Completely different to the last two and it visually does not look like it’s part of a trilogy.

  36. Craig Hedges says:

    I didn’t like dreamland but I love Burning the Heather, it’s sound like it should’ve been a b-side ( the pets have a history of putting some of their best songs on b-sides if you’re confused by that comment). After the ‘Rant’ ep earlier this year I was about to give up on them. Not impressed with the cover, instantly made me think of Take that’s album cover a few years ago.

  37. Christian says:

    I would just wait for the Japanese version of the album on CD – more than likely there will be a bonus track (hopefully not a remix that’s already been released) or two. I think the artwork is interesting and they’re still continuing on with the one word titles.

  38. SeanL says:

    ……… wow they’ve never been one of my favourite bands but they’ve out done themselves with the Autumn track….. how boring and the lyrics are just banal !

  39. ed says:

    I think thats one of the most boring album covers Ive ever seen, but I guess it fits in with the PSB vibe.

    • Michael McA says:

      It’s a technique used by older artists so it’s not so obvious – or to disguise – the fact they are getting older. They did it with the Super tour images – sticking coloured circles over parts of their faces to hide the saggy bits!

      (I know – I’ve got mine.)

      Madonna’s done it too – on MDNA and Rebel Heart.

      Let’s hope this album’s a good one. Very remains their high point (for me). Actually, the best PSB’s album is probably Liza Minnelli’s Results!

    • David M says:

      I haven’t been a fan of much they have put out in the last 20 ywars, however I think the cover is really good!

  40. Mr Smyth says:

    I will remain cautious on this one for now after the crapness of the 1st single , worst single since “Winner” easily. I wonder why there’s no special edition & why they’re marketing the new tour as a Greatests hits jaunt when you’d think they’d put the emphasis on it being to promote the new album. Do they think they couldn’t sell out Arenas for a new album tour?

    • Rich S. says:

      Agreed. Burning The Heather is also junk – “That’s what I’m sensing, I’m not one of those bread-heads, always pounds, shillings, and pence-ing” Seriously? I’ve been a fan since day one, but the rot really set in with Electric. Go back to Being Boring, Young Offender and about 50 others and consider if anything they’ve put out in the last 10 years comes close. The prices for the arena tour are also ludicrous. It’s been a mostly great ride, but I’m off the Pets train now.

    • Michael says:

      But their most succesful radio hit in the U.k,
      for more than 10 years, so it did what it was meant to do.

  41. Richard says:

    Wonder if they’ll do a Fundamental-style deluxe edition with an extra disc of remixes and such. Always a worry with the Petties and pre-ordering.

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