Pet Shop Boys / Elysium

Elysium

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,[2] and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records.[3] Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and 22 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 cover 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 in London, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2016, Billboard magazine named Pet Shop Boys the No. 1 Billboard Dance duo/group over the 40 years since the chart’s inception in 1976.

The Analysis—-

Leaving—-Even on the loudest and most energetic dance floor stompers produced by the Pet Shop Boys, there always remains an underlying sadness to the songs they produce. Perhaps it is the voice…perhaps the unique styling of Chris Lowe at the musical helm…..but it is always there. This release is no different. The deep hum that is carried through this track is just over whelming. Tennant delivers his talk sing style of delivery and I feel warm all over. I am a true collector of this band….owning everything I can get my hands on and having seen them live 10 times. I love this track….the beauty of the composition envelopes the voice…this is art.

Invisible—-Continuing much in the same vein, this entire release seemed to find the Boys at an introspective period. The lyrics of this track are heart breaking…so relate-able to myself personally…perhaps that is why I hide behind this keyboard. I can relate on every level with the music from this duo….they always inspire me to think….look inside and examine. This is brilliant.

Winner—-Written and preformed for and at the Olympics, there is an element to this song that makes me incredibly happy and joyous. The words and the mood of the music lifts me up and just makes me want to celebrate. Tennant and Lowe are a fined tuned machine…they seldom make a mistake…this is a prime example. There is beauty and emotion in everything.

Your Early Stuff—-Delivering a tongue in cheek British styled track, this song is humorous and catchy as hell. Perhaps this is a true rendering of some of the fans responses…after all this duo has been at it for a very long time. The delivery is still sedate and full of that low sad hum…..the beats threatening at the edges to bursts out but remain locked up in the machine. This is humorously self deprecating….I appreciate the not so seldom humor.

A Face Like That—-With a bit livelier musical landscape, this song moves at a fairly good pace. The blips and the bleeps are incredible…layered effects and double tracked vocals give the song a very big feel. The hum is there…and the humor is undeniable…but this is classic PSB…..you want to listen to it over and over. Chris Lowe has his recipe down pat.

Breathing Space—-With an actual acoustic style guitar introducing the track, Tennant enters with a mournful and melancholy vocal that takes me down a notch and just lets me sit in my sadness. There is a remarkable beauty to the song when the chorus kicks in….Tennant actually sings and delivers a lyric that makes you think…ponder and wonder how he can know so much about your life. just fantastic.

Ego Music—-Delivering classic style dance floor beats, Lowe returns us to a bit of a happier place. Neil delivers a double tracked vocal that is more upbeat and still brimming with a dark sense of humor that is always present in the Boys music. Reminding me a lot of the song The Sound Of The Atom Splitting. This is fantastic!

Hold On—-Huge in sound right from the onset, this has that nice mellow feel to it…but an underlying feeling of happiness and positive vibes. I notice that whether realizing it or not….there is a smile on my face as this song plays…that is the mark of phenomenal music. The ability to make you feel….something…positive or negative…it is a joy just to feel….this is extraordinary.

Give It A Go—-Probably my least favorite track on this release, it is too repetitive for my taste. Although……there are great things about this song as well. Tennant comes so close to actually singing it is scary. Stepping away from his talk/sing delivery he hits some notes that are impressive. The nice low hum running through the track is remarkable….Chris Lowe deserves much more credit than he gets.

Memory Of The Future—-Taking me back in time to some of the best compositions this band has ever produced, this is classic. Released on the UK version of the CD only [go figure] this has every element that speaks to me from this duo. This is superb….introspective but powerful…it makes me think…ponder and relish in life and the strides I have made. Isn’t that what this all superposed to be about. Fantastic.

Everything Means Something—-This is an odd track…to be honest, I tend to skip over this. The construction of the song is a bit abrasive and contrived. I like the chorus of the song…but even that sounds a bit hollow to me. Sometimes a favorite makes a mis step….but that is ok.

Requiem In Denim And Leopard Skin—-With a familiar musical line introducing the track, Tennant enters with a simply fantastic vocal…full of inflection…humor and gay leanings. I love the feel of the song….taking me back to the early 80’s when we really did dress that way. This is a wonderful end to the release…leaving a wonderful taste in your mouth. Just fantastic!

****3/4 out of 5

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