Additional personnel includes: Choral Academy Of Moscow, Sylvia Mason-James (vocals); Johnny Marr (guitars, background vocals); SheBoom (drums, percussion); Pete Gleadall (programming).
Producers include: Pet Shop Boys, Chris Porter, Danny Tenaglia.
Engineers include: Bob Kraushaar, Simon Cotsworth, Chris Porter.
"To Step Aside" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
These electronic pop maestros write and arrange lush songs that are as elegant as they are streetwise. For BILINGUAL, they've recruited house-music maven Danny Tenaglia as a co-producer and, in a nod to trip-hop music, given themselves a stronger percussive presence. They've also immersed themselves in the music of Latin America. The lyrics on BILINGUAL are peppered with Spanish phrases. A bossa nova influence is apparent on some songs; they even sample Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz.
But the classic Pet Shop Boys sound remains in the detached voice of Neil Tennant, who is forever proving that it's possible to convey powerful emotions while singing so coldly. The Pet Shop Boys' typically gorgeous orchestrations are also present in full force. They continue to update their sound for the times without losing any of their original spark.
Rolling Stone (10/31/96, p.70) - 3-1/2 Stars - Good/Excellent - "...The quintessential '80s act...have stuck to their guns and refused to defer to passing '90s fads. While their peers would have gone trip-hop by now, Lowe and Tennant have stayed true to their disco-pop sensibility..."
Spin (10/96, pp.131-132) - 8 - Very Good - "...Tennant may be too much the cynic to buy into pop platitudes, but he's also too much a realist to think ironic detachment can sustain life. So he remains fluent in both languages--and ends up with astonishingly eloquent songs."
Entertainment Weekly (9/6/96, p.76) - "The eighth album of slick-as-a-mirror-ball pop from this droll British duo relies as much on melody as rhythm or the Boys' trademark irony, making this a near-perfect album for converting discophobes to the pleasures of dance music..."
- Rating: B+
Q (10/96, p.160) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Where once there were gleaming surfaces, there are whistles, infectious percussion and sensual jazz chords straight from a cantina in Sao Paulo....a bold step for the Pet Shop Boys and, happily, it works almost unreservedly..."
Melody Maker (8/31/96, p.44) - "...`Why would intelligent English musicians want to concern themselves with impassioned Eurodisco?...' BILINGUAL has no place in any such dialogue. The duo's ability to soil a perfectly good disco stomper by dropping in The Chord Of Mourning is well-known to fans who bought the achingly autumnal BEHAVIOUR. They've honed it to a fine art here..."
NME (Magazine) (8/31/96, p.54) - 8 (out of 10) - "...they take us to a new setting...invested in some of the rhythmic knowledge of the South Americans they met on their '94 tour....Tennant's singing like a man who's reached a certain age and feels good/bad/guilty about it....seldom has their music sounded so rich..."