Some brief thoughts on Pet Shop Boys’ disappointing new album

This doesn’t count as an official review because every time I sat down to write a review over the past few weeks I realized the unique soul-sucking power of this album simply made me tired. So this is the quick and dirty version.

I need to say, I appreciate Pet Shop Boys; their continued presence is comforting. They come from an era represented by ever-fewer living, breathing bands, especially from the electro scene of the mid-80s, where a small grouping of bands kept alive the movement when the Golden Age (1980-85) was fading into history. I like they they still do what they always did so well, that even when they have experimented they have remembered what made them a solid, productive, prolific, and sometimes great band once upon a time. On the same note, their last album, Fundamental, was a solid, clever, entertaining album with some really enjoyable, listenable songs like “The Sodom and Gomorrah Show” and “Casanova In Hell”. However, the latest effort, Yes, released wide today, shows a band without anything new to say. 

Again, not a detailed review because the album doesn’t deserve it, but suffice it to say, this sounds like any other nondescript PSB album, with interchangable riffs, droned/spoken Neil Tennant vocals and too-cute-by-half song titles (“King of Rome”, indeed). Lead-off single, “Love etc.” is the best of the lot, and a smart single choice but even it is almost instantly forgettable, and bears too close a resemblance to their take on the Village People’s “Go West” (you can go through the album and match each track to the remarkably similar, but superior earlier PSB song). The rest all blends together into one endless morass. Were this a proper review I would take you through each track and point out where each is wanting, but really, I can’t raise the ire.

Instead, go pick up a copy of Fundamental if you don’t yet own it and hope that is is either a major but forgivable slip-up soon to be corrected with a little newfound imagination or the bitter end, at long last.

Watch “Love, etc”:

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2 Responses to “Some brief thoughts on Pet Shop Boys’ disappointing new album”

  1. I know what you mean, it is rather dull and by-the-numbers. I did like the bonus CD though, especially the Phil Oakey track.

  2. I can’t believe you like Fundamental more than this album! I find Yes to be so much more enjoyable with a good handful of strong and truly memorable songs. Fundamental only offered Minimal as a classic PSB track for me.

    side note: I’ve seen no mention of the one man band ‘Styrofoam’ on your web page. Are you aware of his work?

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