The Pet Shop Boys/The Winner EP

Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic pop duo, formed in London in 1981 and consisting of Neil Tennant (main vocals, keyboards, occasional guitar) and Chris Lowe (keyboards, occasional vocals).

Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide,[1] and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records.[2] Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and twenty-two Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones: “West End Girls” (also number one on the US Billboard Hot 100), “It’s a Sin“, an acclaimed cover of “Always on My Mind” and “Heart“. Other hit songs include a remake of “Go West“, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (satire of Thatcherism) and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” in a duet with Dusty Springfield. At the 2009 Brit Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

The Analysis:

Winner—-This track, although featured on the latest release by Tennant and Lowe was written as the theme song for the Russian Winter Olympic Games. The song…much like most releases by this duo, has a slight undersided sadness to it…but the chorus is joyful and inspirational. The song makes me feel happy and hopeful. The ‘Boys’ are really one of my favorite groups and this is a clear reason why. I’m never disappointed with the minimal, but bombastic sound.

A Certain ‘Je Nais Sais Quo’—-Returning to full on dance mode, such as we have come to expect, this has some nuice horns thrown in the mix for fun. This is energetic and contagious for a simple B-side. I have found in my long history with The Pet Shop Boys, that some of the best material is on the EP’s and as B-Sides. Investigate it all…..this band seems as if it will live forever!!! Thank God!!

The Way Through The Woods—-Beginning with a minimalist sound, the keyboards are still classic Lowe. The organ sound that is emitted is a bit unexpected for me…but believe me…there is no disdain in my little brain…although it craves consistency. When Neil enters with his talk/sing voice…you are right at home and comfortable. This is nice but a bit over-orchestrated….not something I listen to daily…but a must for my collection.

I Started A Joke—-Whoever had the idea for this duo to cover this classic Bee Gees track is a pure genius. The voice that comes from Tennant is full of sadness and emotion. Lowe manages to amp up things just a bit…but this is probably one of my favorite songs at the moment…and I am a HUGE Bee Gees fan. This is just stellar!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

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