Pet Shop Boys - Elysium
Tennant and Lowe's latest isn't their best but still beats most of the synth-pop competition
’You’ve been around, you don’t look too rough / and I still quite like some of your early stuff,’ croons Neil Tennant on ‘Your Early Stuff’ midway through this record, and it’s pleasing to note he and Chris Lowe haven’t lost their sense of humour. Reviewing your own career to date, albeit through the character filter of an only semi-informed passer-by, is a neat postmodern gag, although the sentiment of the song isn’t difficult to agree with.
From the prickly synthesised melancholy of ‘Leaving’, ‘Invisible’ and ‘Memory of the Future’ to the bitchy but accurate pop star caricature of ‘Ego Music’ and the oddly ‘Copacabana’-esque ‘Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin’, this is at once less than classic Pet Shops but more than most contemporary synth-pop can muster.