Pet Shop Boys

Please

March 24, 1986

Alternative Dance

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PSB knocked it right out of the park with their first album, which remains one of their best. While their music and especially their live shows would only become more elaborate over the years, their songwriting was already rock solid from the beginning, and the sequencing forms a loose conceptual arc about a young couple moving to a new city. The Further Listening edition of the album is just as worthwhile, containing essential B-sides like "A Man Could Get Arrested" and "Paninaro," and an extended re-recording of "Suburbia" which vastly improves on the demo-like album version.

- Paul Simpson

Banda Maluca / Joyce / Bugge Wesseltoft

Just a Little Bit Crazy

August 5, 2003

Brazilian Pop

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This 2003 set melds the artist’s standard, primarily acoustic approach to electronic keyboard wizardry of Bugge Wesseltoft. He and drummer Tutty Moreno construct a series of spacy bossa and jazz soundscapes with gorgeous reed and woodwind work from Nailor Proveta and Teco Cardoso. They float inside Joyce's well-constructed melodies, while her glorious guitar playing and Rodolfo Stroeter’s bass form the backdrop for these 13 breezy bossas and sambas. Her deft vocal delivery effortlessly weds Brazilian pop and jazz improvisation to elevate these wonderful tunes to unprecedented levels of warmth and sophistication.

- Thom Jurek