eMusic Review 0
Anyone who knows Pet Shop Boys merely by its droll and flamboyant live spectacle is only getting a partial glimpse of the duo’s genius. Since the mid ’80s, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have taken great pains to create records which are equal parts sophisticated, sentimental and pointed. Elysium, the group’s first proper studio album since 2009′s Yes, is no different: The record contains acerbic social critique (“In the sea of negativity/ I’m statue of liberty,” is how “Ego Music” skewers the false humility of modern pop stars), elegant wordplay (“I’m invisible/ It’s queer/ How gradually/ I’ve become/ Invisible”) and gushing romantic sentiments (the settle-for-me exhortation of “Give It A Go,” the longing-come-true “Memory Of The Future”).
Produced by long-time Kanye West collaborator Andrew Dawson (who also engineered fun.’s Some Nights and Beyonce’s 4), Elysium is more retro-sounding and subdued than the group’s recent efforts. Watery electropop, percolating slow jams and nuanced effects – stacked vocals, moody keyboard droning, the occasional ’80s-caliber voice or synth flourish – coexist with moments of unabashed schmaltz (the string-swept “Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin,” piano-laden ’60s-pop homage “Give It A Go”) and even mournful acoustic guitar (“Breathing Space”). Even the Pet Shop Boys-grade dancefloor classics… read more »