Yes, Very good.

By Adem | April, 1, 2009 | 8 comments

It’s been three years since British-pop wizards the Pet Shop Boys delivered their last studio album, the dazzling “Fundamental”. There’s no denying that particular record was almost perfect, particularly after the bore that was 2002’s “Release.” “Fundamental” came complete with flawless pop moments in the form of “Integral”, “Numb”, and an arms-aloft, poppers o’clock remix of Dusty Springfield’s “In Private,” turned into an emotionally driven, camp-anthem with a little help from Elton John. There were, however, moments of weakness, like the dire “Psychological” or weak lead single “I’m With Stupid.” It may have been the official comeback album for them, but studio long player number ten, “Yes”, is a cut much more deserving of the title, and one that sees them working alongside Xenomania; Girls Aloud’s top-of-the-pops-force writing and production team.

From the lovestruck beauty of “Did You See Me Coming?”, to the cheekiness of “Pandemonium” (in which Neil Tennant coos “Is this a riot, or are you just happy to see me?”), or the drama of “Legacy”, there isn’t a single skip-forward moment to be found. There’s plenty to crow about in songs like “Vulnerable” (the records greatest, most delicate and heartbreaking moment, made all the more powerful by that impeccable “I’m just filing my nails” lyric delivery from Tennant we’ve all come to know and love), “More Than A Dream” (which needs to be a single thanks to its catchier than V.D. chorus), and “The Way It Used To Be”, which are the absolute hallmark moments on “Yes”.

Opener and lead single “Love etc.” is an erratically complex pop song that throws together one of the most dysfunctional song structures you’ll have heard in years. Bizarre placement of the bridge and chorus before we’ve even heard a verse is classic Xenomania, but this is still 100% a Pet Shop Boys song; an instant classic. And that’s the brilliant thing about this record; it has sprinklings of Xenomania throughout yet manages to present itself completely as a proper and unique Pet Shop Boys disc.

It’s incredible to see Neil and Chris producing their best record since 1993’s “Very” a good 25 years into their career. And maybe they’ve found the right tools (like salt to a meal, there are small servings of Xenomania added to “Yes” which gives it its subtle bite) in order to bring out their sonic flavour.

On a final note, the other night I came up with what I thought was the most hilarious joke. I sent it to Popjustice but, alas, I don’t think they found it as hilarious as I did.

Q: What movie do the Pet Shop Boys call their absolute favourite?
A: Love, Actually.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week. Please; try the veal.

Worra‘review! > > >
Fizzy? Yes! > > >
D’banter’yes! > > > (HEY! I’m one of those American Life fans!)
Will W. + EQ = Yes! > > >
Dan‘s INCREDIBLE 25 years of PSB fact machine = YES! > > >

And Yes! (er, enough of that perhaps), I’m back to blogging properly. Sorry it’s taken me 27 different breakdowns and large gaps in between posts… I do hope you’ll forgive me. x

8 Responses to Yes, Very good.

  • Poster Girl

    This is one of those albums for which I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read enough reviews: it’s instantly acceptable and yet with so many layers, details, and potential interpretations–so many things for other ears to call your attention to–that I feel as if after each review I gain new things to appreciate. I love it already, but each review gives me a new way to love it.

    That’s a very roundabout way of saying that I loved reading this and had to run off and play the album again.

  • Aaron

    I’ve not given the album a listen yet, but I’m not sure if I will. I’ve never got the whole Pet Shop Boys thing – I’ve heard of them, but never actually listened to them (First exposure was Robbie’s Rudebox…) and I had a quick look at a snippet or two and wasn’t really compelled to give it a go yet…..Maybe later?

  • Aaron

    Nice Joke Though! I had a small, silent laugh to myself!

    (Sorry about the double comment, forgot to mention it!)

  • jason

    Very nice review. Glad to have you back blogging and on the PSB cheerleading squad. ‘Tis a fantastic album.

  • a1

    its VERY brilliant , ACTUALLY!

  • Yuri

    I totally agree. Yes is a triumph! Very nice point about Xenomania being the salt that flavors. You listen to Yes and the Xeno touches do not overwhelm, but enhance. Nicely done!

  • Will-W.

    Thanks for the link, Adem! xx

    Sad to read that sales tapered off dramatically in week 2 :( Waiting on that second single’s release for the big comeback.

  • Dan Project76

    Just catching up on my blog reading… good review and thanks for linking to muy thing.

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