With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with "Elysium"

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    With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with "Elysium"

    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:

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-pet-shop-boys-new-album-elysium-20120912,0,3541893.story

     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    Just saw a few comments following a UK review (most of them were hilarious) that was tepid, at best.   

    "Typical UK nonsense."

    "A throwaway review.  She barely listened."

    "How many times did you listen to the album?"  

    We're not the only ones that think critics are full of garbage.  :D

     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    Nice writeup, yf.  I have to check out some of their stuff.  Can you give me a Youtube recommendation for a recent song that you really like?

     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    Hi Hfx,

    Happy to oblige.  :)   I hope Zilla sees this thread when he returns next week, as he's a kindred spirit.  If Matty weighs in, he might have a few songs to recommend for a newbie, as he's a fan  (although I've always had the impression his wife is the diehard fan).   

    So hard to know how easy it is to "catch the bug" with the PSB.   They made their debut in the 80's, and were on the vanguard of synthie pop, and "pop-rap" style.  Completely original.   Getting to know them is worth it, IMO.   But it may take time ...

    Remember the thread about buying an album w/out having heard any tracks -- or perhaps only one?  The new album is a good example of that, since only "Leaving" has been released as a single thus far (and I'd never heard it).  The song "Winner" apparently was used for a video  during (for?) the Olympics, thus, the "cheesy" factor, but I actually like the song (it's a "Flashdance" - very uplifting).   

    Here are a cross-section of tracks --- listen when you're at home; also, perhaps share with your wife, to see what she thinks.   :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh1AAm2B32g   - "Leaving"  (from new album, Elysium)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1rrsxLF238  -    "Elysium" sampler (just found it)

    Vintage:

    West End Girls -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3j2NYZ8FKs&feature=related

    Always on My Mind (cover of W.Nelson tune)  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q053PBA47gY

    King's Cross (pretty sure this is one of Zilla's faves)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jw8C1k_agY&feature=related

     

     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    "Freude, schoener Gotterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium"

     

    Danke.

     



     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hi Hfx,

    Happy to oblige.  :)   I hope Zilla sees this thread when he returns next week, as he's a kindred spirit.  If Matty weighs in, he might have a few songs to recommend for a newbie, as he's a fan  (although I've always had the impression his wife is the diehard fan).   

    So hard to know how easy it is to "catch the bug" with the PSB.   They made their debut in the 80's, and were on the vanguard of synthie pop, and "pop-rap" style.  Completely original.   Getting to know them is worth it, IMO.   But it may take time ...

    Remember the thread about buying an album w/out having heard any tracks -- or perhaps only one?  The new album is a good example of that, since only "Leaving" has been released as a single thus far (and I'd never heard it).  The song "Winner" apparently was used for a video  during (for?) the Olympics, thus, the "cheesy" factor, but I actually like the song (it's a "Flashdance" - very uplifting).   

    Here are a cross-section of tracks --- listen when you're at home; also, perhaps share with your wife, to see what she thinks.   :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh1AAm2B32g   - "Leaving"  (from new album, Elysium)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1rrsxLF238  -    "Elysium" sampler (just found it)

    Vintage:

    West End Girls -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3j2NYZ8FKs&feature=related

    Always on My Mind (cover of W.Nelson tune)  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q053PBA47gY

    King's Cross (pretty sure this is one of Zilla's faves)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jw8C1k_agY&feature=related

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I listened to 'Leaving', the entire Elysium sampler, and their version of 'I Started A Joke' which I came across in the process.  I was already quite familiar with West End Girls, which is a wonderful song, and Always On My Mind.

    It's all very good stuff.  Remarkable how much they sound like they did back then.  Of the Elysium tracks, the two that caught my ear the first time around were 'Give It A Go' and 'Memory Of The Future'. 

    I find some connections between Pet Shop Boys and one of favorite bands, 10CC.  Musically, both groups are/were built around melodic hooks and some of the purest, sweetest male vocals on record.   

     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I listened to 'Leaving', the entire Elysium sampler, and their version of 'I Started A Joke' which I came across in the process.  I was already quite familiar with West End Girls, which is a wonderful song, and Always On My Mind.

    It's all very good stuff.  Remarkable how much they sound like they did back then.  Of the Elysium tracks, the two that caught my ear the first time around were 'Give It A Go' and 'Memory Of The Future'. 

    I find some connections between Pet Shop Boys and one of favorite bands, 10CC.  Musically, both groups are/were built around melodic hooks and some of the purest, sweetest male vocals on record.   

    [/QUOTE]

    Thanks for going the distance by listening to the new PSB music.   I figured you knew the rather popular vintage tracks I included, but I didn't want to overwhelm you with too much unfamiliar material.    

    I had to smile when I saw your comment on the quality of the vocals; over the past few days listening to the new album, I've been thinking that exact thought, marvelling at the crystalline, "youthful"  and familiar quality that has been maintained.    None of us is getting any younger (except in spirit, of course), but it's always a bit startling to see a fave rocker in an interview all these years down the road and recognize they're not "kids" any more.    But when no time passes in terms of vocal quality?  That's amazing.  

    I've often thought one of the reasons their music appeals to me is that the sweet spirit in the vocals prevails, no matter how cynical or sardonic the lyrics; it's that quality that prevents their darkest songs from ever sounding bitter.   

    BTW,  the album where I feel a gap is "Yes" (2009); I hope fill that gap eventually. 

     
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    Re: With their 11th album, the Pet Shop Boys go mid-tempo with

    Haven't heard any of the new songs yet (except 'Winner' from the olympics), but I've been scanning satellite for them.  Lots of new music to absorb very recently.

    For newbies, I recommend the entire "Please", "Actually" and "Very" LPs, and then maybe the underrated "Release" from 2002.  PSB are funny in that they're colloquially known as a singles band, but I think their albums are really where it's at - unusual for such a club-centric act.  Like a play, there are hardly any unintended phrases...not much filler to speak of.

    I admit, though, that I'm out of my league discussing PSB as anything more than a casual fan (ditto of dance music in general).  It's true my SO is the PSB authority in our crib.

     

     

     

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