Pet Shop Boys, Introspective

I think I'm a pretty introspective dude personally but no amount of introspection can bring me to understand this album. Less a record than an effort-free splatter of 12"-style mixes, the production is as good as usual but the music itself varies from average to bizarre and the sometimes grotesquely lengthened tracks invariably outlast their welcome. While the Trevor Horn-produced "Left To My Own Devices" is decent enough (except for the meh whatever chorus) and the medley "Always On My Mind/In My House" makes for an amusing cover as far as it goes, the other four of the six tracks are wan, uninspired and beneath this duo's otherwise sizeable talent. Besides the dopey faux Latin beat of "Domino Dancing" the deepest pothole they dug is probably the pathetic "I Want A Dog" ("a chihuahua," Neil Tennant clarifies), which in its over six minutes apparently intended to be cute and affected but largely comes off as whiny. And that's simply the biggest fault of this album: no matter the name it's not pensive or thought-provoking, it's just pouty. The rerelease with Further Listening adds a few demos and a few new unreleased tracks; they're much more listenable if for no other reason than being shorter. (Content: no concerns.)