Pet Shop Boys, 'Yes' (Astralwerks)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

Halfway through their startlingly effusive tenth album, this discerning duo frets on "Vulnerable" about how to keep its show on the road. Ex-Smith Johnny Marr and Arcade Fire collaborator Owen Pallett help solve the dilemma with chiming guitars and windswept orchestrations, while U.K. girly-pop production team Xenomania bring mirrorball sparkle to alternately anxious and elated ballads. In the grand, elegiac "Legacy," singer Neil Tennant delivers what's either a farewell kiss or simply a cheeky end to the most thoroughly heartfelt chapter in the pair's 25-year story.

Watch: Pet Shop Boys, "Love Etc."

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