Tennant/Lowe – Battleship Potemkin

Almost without noticing I seem to possess the near complete works of the Pet Shop Boys. I’m not an enormous fan, but I do have a weak spot for the cynical disco-pop of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. Therefore a new album is always interesting. ‘Battleship Potemkin’ is no regular Pet Shop Boys album though.

Let’s start with a little piece of history: in 1925 Russian film director and theorist Sergei M. Eisenstein created the film ‘Battleship Potemkin’. It dealt with the mutiny on the war ship of the same name and the role which the crew played in the Russian revolution of 1905. The film was bring banned by the Western authorities and labeled as a pure example of communist propaganda. It was not until 1954 that the film could be shown without problems.

Last year, so almost 50 years after lifting the ban, ‘Battleship Potemkin’ was projected on the London Trafalgar Square. During this occasion the Pet Shop Boys, together with the Dresden Sinfoniker, performed the specially written music for the film. And now there is the album with the score, which was released under the monicker Tennant/Lowe, as if to show the fans to to expect a synthpop release.

‘Battleship Potemkin’ contains for the most part atmospheric instrumental tracks, with only brief occurrences of Neil Tennant’s voice. It’s film music and at the same time so typical Pet Shop Boys: electronic rhythms, Russian text snippets, swelling violins and male choirs. It may be compared to a mixture between the Pet Shop Boys album ‘Very’ and Klaus Doldingers ‘Das Boot’. The waiting is now for the dvd with both the film and the soundtrack. I have not watched ‘Battleship Potemkin’, but judging solely from the music, it should be exciting and stirring.
Hopefully the planned tour will bring the PSB to The Netherlands…

artist: Tennant/Lowe
label: EMI Records
details: 15 tracks, 2005