Electronic


Electronic

Electronic - Electronic ©1991 Warner Bros.
1. Idiot Country
2. Reality
3. Tighten Up
4. The Patience Of A Saint
5. Getting Away With It
6. Gangster
7. Soviet
8. Get The Message
9. Try All You Want
10. Some Distant Memory
11. Feel Every Beat

If you ever wondered what would happen if you dropped New Order, The Smiths and the Pet Shop Boys into a blender and hit puree, this album is for you. Even at first listen, Electronic’s sound is somewhat familiar, which isn’t surprising because the band is a supergroup comprised of Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr, with Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe guesting on several tracks. An element of the distinctive sound of each member’s former band is easily discernible, which provides for an interesting mix - it’s neither fish nor flesh, to borrow a good line. Although the lack of Peter Hook’s distinctive bass playing is what most distinguishes Electronic from New Order, Electronic carves out its own identity through the tasteful addition of Johnny Marr’s inimitable guitar style and a flowing danceability that is entirely its own.

Apparently there was no gigantic clash of rock star-sized egos in the recording studio, since the album is an evenly balanced affair that manages to incorporate each member’s contributions without allowing one to drown out the other. All but one of the songs, the somber “Soviet”, are uptempo, neo-disco synthesizer-based numbers, programmed jointly by Messrs. Sumner and Marr, that chug along at a moderate-to-rapid beat. “Reality” and “Tighten Up” are their best high-energy dance numbers, while “Gangster” and “Get the Message” are the best of their moodier pieces. The rest of the album’s tracks also enjoyable; however, “The Patience of a Saint” and “Getting Away with It”, the first of which has Chris Lowe on keyboards and both of which feature Neil Tennant on vocals, are far and away the disc’s standout tracks. None of the other cuts, several of which were released as singles, are as quite as compelling.

If you’re into New Order, the Pet Shop Boys, or other groups of that general nature, odds are you’ll like Electronic. If not, well, that’s your problem.

Review by Jonathan Arnett

Review date: 08/2000

Back to top 

Disappointed [single]

Electronic - Disappointed [single] ©1992 Warner Bros.
1. Disappointed (Single Mix)
2. Disappointed (Electronic Mix)
3. Gangster (FBI Mix)
4. Disappointed (808 Mix)

If you liked Electronic's radio hit "Getting Away with It," you won't be "Disappointed" with this single, featuring three mixes of an excellent song taken from the soundtrack to the (disappointing) movie Cool World. Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys makes a suberb guest appearance on vocals while Johnny Marr handles the guitar and shares keyboard and programming duties with Bernard Sumner. The results are a shimmering, danceable groove that's as tasty as anything coming from any of the three's other bands.

The single mix is heavily reminiscent of a PSB track, in that it retains a somewhat schizophrenic mix of ecstatic and melancholic (that word again) vibes from the lush, euphoric music and slightly downcast vocal delivery, respectively. The Electronic mix is a sparer, danceclub-oriented version that foreshadows the musical direction which the band would take in its subsequent releases. Fellow Manchesterites 808 State's turn at the mixing board takes the song directly into the land of house music for an interesting treatment; it's decent but doesn't hold a candle to the other versions. Electronic's debut album track "Gangster" gets the remix treatment as well, emerging as the FBI Mix. It's likewise worthwhile but not essential for anyone but a fan.

For the person who already has an interest in Electronic or the Pet Shop Boys, the 7" edit alone of "Disappointed" is well worth the effort involved in tracking down a copy of either the single or the Cool World soundtrack. For everyone else, the song is at least worth a listen, should you get the chance.

Review by Jonathan Arnett

Review date: 01/2001

Back to top