Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Best Of 2012: #8

#8 - Pet Shop Boys - Elysium

It's very hard to believe that this is album number eleven. I know that they were making albums long before I was born, but what really surprises me is that I love all of them. There are high points and low points, but I wouldn't say I disliked any of them. Following on from their best album, Yes (unfortunately Elysium doesn't top it, but it gives it a run for its money), which was filled with ten classic pop songs and one odd curveball of a closer, this time the duo have gone for slower, peaceful and thoughtful songs filled with epic soundscapes and, of course, fantastic melodies. In fact, there are only a few songs that you might consider as being proper pop songs. These include the sort-of Olympics song Winner, the opening track Leaving, or the catchy Memory Of The Future. Conveniently, those are actually the three tracks that have been made into singles! But those ones are not just the backbone of the album. Invisible is simple, yet relaxing, which really fits with the album's artwork; Breathing Space takes a slight guitar-y turn, but produces a beautiful chorus; and the closing track Requiem In Denim And Leopardskin is a six-minute epic which finishes the album off in style. There are also little weird tracks, as you would expect from a Pet Shop Boys album, such as the two-minute long Your Early Stuff (apparently a compilation of taxi drivers' comments) or Ego Music, which is a slight attack on the current pop music industry, with sarcastic, deadpan lines such as 'in the sea of negativity, I'm the Statue of Liberty' and generally, just pure oddness. Overall, the album starts strong and just gets better. The final three tracks are probably the greatest way the duo have ever finished an album, going from pop song Memory Of The Future, to the dark and emotional Everything Means Something, and the pure epic Requiem In Denim And Leopardskin.

RECOMMEND: Winner, Breathing Space, Requiem In Denim And Leopardskin
LOW POINTS: Your Early Stuff, Hold On

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