Review – Pet Shop Boys, Elysium, EMI/Astralwerks, 2012

Pet Shop Boys, Elysium, EMI/Astralwerks
Pet Shop Boys, Elysium, EMI/Astralwerks

Classification: Electronic
File Under: P

Artist: Pet Shop Boys
Title: Elysium
Label: EMI/Astralwerks

Recorded: 2012
Date Released: 09/05/2012
Date Received: 09/07/2012

Clean: All
Indecent: None
Play: 3-Winner, 1-Leaving, 4-Your Early Stuff, 7-Ego Music
RIYL: Junior Boys

Comments: I’m honestly trying to remember the last Pet Shop Boys album that I thought was essential, or that I really loved. Maybe it was Alternative, their B-Sides from the 90s. Maybe it was Bilingual. But it was sometime in the mid-90s that my love affair with their discography broke off. I still respected them as artists, but I just didn’t want to listen anymore. Kind of like U2 about the time Atomic Bomb came out.

So, giant step back. The Pet Shop Boys have been doing this for 31 years. They’ve sold 100 million albums. They played the freaking Olympics. Their 80s catalogue is pretty amazing, and probably earns them the right to put out whatever they want, or at least enough royalties to put out whatever they want.

Plenty of reflection on getting older: 12-Requiem in denim and leopardskin, 11-Everything means something, 10-Memory of the future. They look back on early success in 4-Your early stuff, maybe directly back to “Left to my own devices.” 7-Ego music, genuinely confuses me. I can’t decide if Neil is completely earnest here, laughing at us, or trying to make a parody of Flight Of The Conchords’ version of them (Inner City Pressure). A parody of a parody wouldn’t be beyond him. It’s probably all three, and more.

At the end of the day, PSB will probably leave the club bangers to a younger set, but this is music for the morning after, as you nurse your Monaco hangover and ask yourself if it was worth it.