Monday, August 27, 2012


Song: Leaving
Artist: Pet Shop Boys
Album: Elysium

A new Pet Shop Boys album is cause for joy indeed, and the Boys are returning with their eleventh (!!) studio album "Elysium," set for release next week.  After the very pop oriented "Yes," the band's sound was seemingly taking a more downbeat bent when they released "Invisible," a slow, piano and electronics album track back in June.  Then came first proper single "Winner," which might go down as my least-favorite PSB first-single ever.  Ugh.

"Winner" seemed to be written for the Olympics, though they did not perform it during the closing ceremony.  It just seemed so limp and a bit cheesy.... I was quite worried about this album.

But I'm happy to report the record is rather good.  It is downbeat, and reminded me of a mix of their downbeat masterpiece "Release," as well as 1990's classic "Behavior."

Opening track and second single "Leaving" puts all worries to the side as the Boys deliver a classic-sounding PSB mid-tempo number that has a breezy, island vacation vibe... it's amazing, and I think should have been the first single.  Oddly, the two tracks that we've heard, "Invisible" and "Winner" come up to drag the album down a bit. (though admittedly, "Winner" does sound better in the context of the album.)  Things get back to form with the lush "Your Early Stuff" and then the upbeat "Face Like That."  More classic-sounding Pet Shop Boys.

"Breathing Space" is a beautiful acoustic-guitar lead ballad that borders the cheesiness"Winner" ultimately succumbs to, but remains quite beautiful and actually... uplifting.  I'm not sure how I feel about "Ego Music," a faster-paced moment that's a touch to pretentious, falling victim to it's own point. Though it's a pretty nice listen.  "Hold On" on the other hand is a bit hard to take... it's a touch musical theater.  I'll leave it at that.

By the end, with a few more tracks that are ultimate PSB, including the amazing "Memory of the Future," you realize the boys have delivered another actual winner.  Continuing one of the best legacies of electronic pop music in its history.  Bravo!


Your Early Stuff

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