Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

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Luke Colorado
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#76 Post by Luke Colorado » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 3:28 am

It's probably a matter of (my) age and circumstance, but nothing's been the same since Release.
I sincerely *love* Disco 2 and listen to it straight through regularly.

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Gabby
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#77 Post by Gabby » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 12:21 pm

MikeyC wrote:
Sun 23 Apr 2017, 2:47 am
Gabby wrote:
Sat 22 Apr 2017, 9:07 pm
Drico One wrote:
Sat 22 Apr 2017, 7:37 pm
Yes has some tremendous moments - most notably the co-writes, ironically enough - but it is generally banal, in my view. That kind of banality has its place (and I am not averse to banality per se, obviously enough), but there's a little more to Pet Shop Boys than that. I feel that Higgins reduced them to what he was comfortable with rather than accentuating their genius. He had clearly decided that they couldn't write a decent song (in giving them song titles to write to) - or at least that they weren't writing about pop subjects - so his appreciation for what they are great at was questionable. Girls Aloud clearly do banal pop way better than Neil and Chris, so I think they were always going to suffer by comparison when going to Xenomania - even if the experience did produce two wonderful songs.

I've never regarded Pet Shop Boys as purveyors of banal pop. To me, there was an edge there, and that, pun intended, gave them an edge. Yes, for me, lacked that almost completely.

That said, I think Neil and Chris aren't entirely blameless in all of this. They clearly hoped for a hit in submitting themselves - and that's what they did - to Higgins, and it didn't really work. Love etc. got to number 14 three years after their previous lead single made the top 10. Perhaps that was better than they could have hoped for given the passing of time? I don't know. I suspect their confidence was low and they decided to allow him full control. I don't think the outcome was worth it - and I wonder if they really do either given that they have not gone back to him since.

Drico.
I wish I could remember where I heard or read an interview with Brian Higgins about the Pet Shop Boys so I could directly quote it, but I was shocked by the apparent contempt he had for their previous work. I'm almost glad that "Yes" was a flop (in my books I think it's mostly terrible and find myself disagreeing with most people's idea of what are the good tracks on it). The remix of "All Over The World" on the Christmas EP is great though and I have a soft spot for "Love etc."

Anyway, my point is, and as you said, Brian Higgins didn't really seem terribly invested in utilizing what Neil and Chris bring to the table as musicians and song writers. Stuart Price, being a fan, has a bit more of an ear for it, and for my money has produced some of the strongest stuff for the Boys in a good long while. Yes, it's got a lot of his own trademarks in there, but whatever his takeaways are on PSB songs of old is certainly is in sync with mine.
A "Literally" at the time had an extended interview with Higgins, which is what you're referring to and I believe the interview was conducted by Chris Heath.
Ah, I think you're right - surprising the Boys even included it when it was (to this reader) pretty insulting to them.

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Waffleon
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#78 Post by Waffleon » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 2:39 pm

I wish they'd trimmed Super down to 6 or 7 tracks. I'm not that bothered about Undertow, Say it to me, Groovy or Into thin air. A bit cloying for me. Love the two slower tracks, Burn and TPK. Super could have been a moodier version of the fantastic Electric. I guess they have to tour these albums now though. I still really enjoy it though.

Classics for me are songs I will never get tired of. There are plenty of recents to chose from. Burn, Inside a Dream, invisible, leaving, more than a dream, king of rome, made my excuses, walk through the woods.

Rent is in their top 10 at least. Surely all fans think that?

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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#79 Post by mole973102 » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 3:06 pm

nickname wrote:
Tue 07 Mar 2017, 3:09 pm
I think the level of the new tracks (Super's álbum) is quite good. In my opinion, "Super" is a very enjoyable album. Some songs are betther than the others but you can say PSB are in form.

Are PSB able to create new "classics"?. When I say "classic", I define it like a song everyone (even casual fans or non casual fans) can appreciate (I'm not talking about successful) with a powerful verses and chorus, big production and well built structure

- I don't see any classic in "Super".

- In "Electric", I know PSB think "Vocal" is a classic but the level of the song it's similar to "It's alright" and PSB knows pretty well "Vocal" is a re-work of "It's alright". I like "Thursday" and I think is a really good pop song but the production is quite weak and it the verses are not particulary interesting, "Love is a bourgeois construct" sounds and old versión of "Go West" with no chorus.

- In "Elysium", there are no classics either.

- In "Yes" there is a classic and it's called "All over the world" (specially the EP's versión). "Love, etc" is frankly good but I don't see it as a classic.

- For me, "Fundamental" had another classic. I know everyone was crazy with "Integral" (which it's a really good song, superb) but for me, the real classic was "TSAGS" (because of the reasons I gave above). You can appreciate that when you go to a PSB concert with this tour, people get crazy with the song (even non fans), the chorus is really catchy.

- "Release", no classics.

- "Nightlife", I think "New York City Boy" is a classic.

- "Bilingual", I think "Se a vida e" is a classic

- "Very", of course "Go West" is a big classic. "Can you forgive her?" is amazing but not a classic.

- "Behaviour", I think you can considered "Being Boring" a classic because of the lyrics, I'm not sure you can consider it because of the song itself.

- "Introspective", of course "Left To My Own Devices" is a big classic and the "Domino Dancing" too. Apart from that, the single version of "Always on my Mind" is obviosly a big classic.

- "Actually", "It's a sin" of course and "What have I done to deserve this?", "Heart" is a minor classic.

- "Please", of course "West End Girls" and "Suburbia" (specially the videomix version or the full horror mix from "Disco").

Of course, it's a humble opinion but I think PSB are not able to create a classic since "TSAGS".

So I can rate them nowadays: 6 / 10 but not more.
Been thinking similar. I feel a bit frustrated in that some of the releases are average, not of their usual standard. They feel like that they've been put together quick and although not their best mix ever, it'll sell/do etc.

With Pop Kids for example, there are some great mixes on promos that I have. But did not make mainstream.

I thought Twenty Something was a missed opportunity.

Vocal is probably the best single release to date.

I suppose what I am saying is, is I dislike the tinkly-bop mixes that build gathering boredom or the decent remix that is under four minutes so that just as it gets active it fades. Sometimes I miss the days of the Extended versions. They also used to remix the odd b-side.

Came on the forum partly to moan. I think the Burn mix is a bit insulting to stick on Annually II. If I'd paid out for it to get that mix, I'd have felt a bit more cheated. I think if going to make a product like that, may as well put some effort in to it so you have three party stompers...
You gotta have fun!

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retrofuturist
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#80 Post by retrofuturist » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 12:53 am

Greetings,

By and large, I've been genuinely happy with everything from Disco 3 onwards, other than Super which was just OK. For "OK" to be a low-point, they must be doing pretty well...

Retro. :)

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jasonjohn
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#81 Post by jasonjohn » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 6:02 am

I think their later albums are terrific packages over all. Fundy, Yes, Elysium, Electric. I wont include Super, but hey it's fun.

Appreciate their later albums a little more than some of their earlier efforts.

Take, for example, Actually. That album definitely has brilliant moments. And some individually classic tracks. It's of its age. But release it today, people would still be on here complaining about tracks they skip. For me, "It couldn't happen here" is a little missable and indulgent, and distracts from the albums true slow gem "Kings Cross". "Hit Music" is OK as a bit of retro and maybe works well with the Thatcher theatrics, but it's a bit cheap. And "Heart" is quite pale compared to the single mix. I could drone on about how I prefer some B-sides to be swapped in, but what's the point.

And "Please", of course, is a breakthrough. But they were still finding their sound, and as such I think they tried too hard to needlessly carry over the American-friendly sound of West End Girls onto most of the flip side.

I'm not discounting either of these albums, BTW. I still love them. The PSB voice and outlook makes them compelling story tellers, and listening to their albums is like calling an old friend.

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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#82 Post by Nervously » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 9:36 am

In the eighties and early nineties, there weren't many PSB albums to choose form, nor was it considered likely that there would ever be (there always seemed to be the dangling threat of them packing in it in, plus most pop groups didn't last very long). So the quality of those few albums was very important, as it might be all we would ever get.

Now, any extra classics are a bonus. A patchy PSB album, provided it still has some high spots, is a much better buy than most other bands' best efforts.

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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#83 Post by tottenhammattspurs » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 1:41 pm

To be fair, their throwaway B-sides can be of a quality that other bands have never achieved on an A-side or otherwise. That's the problem when you've always had the best cut of steak, when someone gives you a perfectly functional burger, you feel cheated....
is is and isnt isnt

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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#84 Post by telys » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 4:51 pm

I have nothing to complain about when it comes to Yes, which for me was proof that PSB still could make great albums.
I only wish they had made in an album with 8 tracks combining the six dub-mixes on etc.. with their Yes counterparts and adding Did you see me coming and This used to be the future. Sort of a follow up to Introspective. They definately should have made another Introspective-type album. I get the feeling PSB aren't using their long-song-qualities enough.

The other tracks together with a couple of the B-sides and Together would have made a great 2010-2011 album.

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Ramzy
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#85 Post by Ramzy » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 9:34 pm

telys wrote:
Tue 25 Apr 2017, 4:51 pm
They definately should have made another Introspective-type album. I get the feeling PSB aren't using their long-song-qualities enough.
Um...wasn't Electric exactly that?
I must disengage your recreational music.

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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#86 Post by telys » Wed 26 Apr 2017, 9:45 am

Ramzy wrote:
Tue 25 Apr 2017, 9:34 pm
telys wrote:
Tue 25 Apr 2017, 4:51 pm
They definately should have made another Introspective-type album. I get the feeling PSB aren't using their long-song-qualities enough.
Um...wasn't Electric exactly that?
No songs longer than 7 minutes. Electric is very far away from Introspective.

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jasonjohn
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#87 Post by jasonjohn » Wed 26 Apr 2017, 10:24 am

telys wrote:
Wed 26 Apr 2017, 9:45 am
No songs longer than 7 minutes. Electric is very far away from Introspective.
Almost 80% of Electric is over 5 minutes which means it's not a radio-friendly album. Probably the thing that does make it similar to Intro.

Production is the thing that sets Intro apart and beyond Electric.

Also, Introspective seemed to condense its tracks into singles far better.

Bulldog

Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#88 Post by Bulldog » Wed 26 Apr 2017, 10:26 am

telys wrote:
Wed 26 Apr 2017, 9:45 am
Ramzy wrote:
Tue 25 Apr 2017, 9:34 pm
telys wrote:
Tue 25 Apr 2017, 4:51 pm
They definately should have made another Introspective-type album. I get the feeling PSB aren't using their long-song-qualities enough.
Um...wasn't Electric exactly that?
No songs longer than 7 minutes. Electric is very far away from Introspective.
Axis, Bolshy and Vocal are basically 12" mixes. The rest is more concise but the tracks are definitely more streched out than usual and not that far from the "summery" sound of Introspective.

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Dami
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#89 Post by Dami » Wed 26 Apr 2017, 11:59 am

I still hang my head in shame that I just don't like "The pop Kids" God knows I've tried.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Trying to be fair about the level of PSB's music nowadays

#90 Post by retrofuturist » Fri 28 Apr 2017, 2:48 am

Greetings,
Dami wrote:
Wed 26 Apr 2017, 11:59 am
I still hang my head in shame that I just don't like "The pop Kids" God knows I've tried.
There's enough mixes of it (!!)... I'm sure you can find one you like.

:lol:

Retro. :)

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