They are the most successful musical duo in UK music history -- and *still* going strong after 30 years. The Pet Shop Boys are also one of the most successful musical artists anywhere, topping a whopping 100 million records sold worldwide.
I'm a Pet Head. Yesterday, the day the album was released in the USA, I bought "Elysium" and am very happy that I did. I've only listened to it a few times, and considering I'd only heard one track (the track some fans will consider the weakest, "Winner" -- yet, still very uplifting), the album is growing on me exponentially in just one day. Of course it's still electronic synthie-pop, just the way I want it, but it's fresh and new, and to their credit, not entirely predictable.
Also love the cover art, FWIW.
The wit and intellect shine. The signature dance beats are not as prominent, as they've gone a mid-tempo route; therefore, the segues from song to song blend into one another real, real nice.
I've loved reading (reviews) about the album, too, as interviews with Neil Tennant are a sheer delight. Neil and Chris Lowe re-located to LA to make "Elysium" and while they had been in LA many times, they had never lived there, you know, and experienced LA for what it is. Some of the songs on the new album are commentaries on life in LA. Needless to say, they make a pretty good case for not wanting to live in Los Angeles as a musician. :)
I don't own all of PSB's albums, and while there's one in particular that I need to play "catch up" with one of these days, their latest installment was a must, because you see, they're not desirous of making music to "repeat themselves endlessly" -- but prefer to make music that's more difficult, and rewarding. My love story with PSB continues.
"There’s something quite glamorous about being a faded celebrity, at least in London ... I don’t drive a car in London, I always get taxis. And taxi drivers can be quite talkative; they often recognize me and ask about the Pet Shop Boys ... We like confronting things you’re not meant to say -- you’re not supposed to confront age in pop music. Really, a lot of the album is about what it’s like carrying on in pop music when you get to our age."
"Chris and I, sometimes people get frustrated that we’re not doing ’80s-style electro-pop. We could do that, but it would be less and less rewarding; it’s not really what we’re about. We’re very split: Part of us is Eurodisco, but part of us is Steely Dan. And you can hear both of those things in this album."
Check it out: