Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

For general discussion of Pet Shop Boys topics.
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Geestar106
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#376 Post by Geestar106 »

After hearing the single version of “Monkey Business” I had real fears about this album, thinking “if that’s the highlight what’s the rest going to be like?” But the more I listen to “Hotspot” it feels like a really interesting, surprisingly cohesive piece of work, in which even “Monkey Business” seems not out of place. There are few PSB albums which I love listening to all the way through, but this is one of them. Make no mistake — this is not an album full of hit singles, or even instantly memorable hooks, yet it’s somehow none the worse for it. Perhaps that's a result of the sheer melodic quality, aided by the beautifully luscious and warm sounding electronic production. It’s just really PLEASING to listen to — and explore — from beginning to end.

Will-o-the-wisp - a big stonking industrial opener in the same vein as the openers to “Electric” and “Super”. Somehow I could hear David Bowie singing this. Felt a bit “meh” at first, but a grower.

You are the one - a complete contrast to the previous track, an unadulterated love song. Really nice.

Happy People - the spoken verse reminds me of “DJ Culture” and there’s a bit of “Sad Robot World” melancholy in there which I love, but make no mistake it’s a great banging, uplifting song with an amazingly stomping middle eight. My favourite so far.

Dreamland - don’t get why opinions on this are so mixed. It’s the nearest to a hit single in the classic PSBs sense. For that reason it does stick out (nothing else screams “big hit”), but production-wise it nonetheless feels in keeping with the rest of the album, just about!

Hoping for a miracle - the most personal sounding track, like Neil is talking to directly to me! Quite beautiful really.

I don’t wanna - this feels most like early PSBs, like something from “Please”.

Monkey business - the production sounds amazing, the bassline is so funky, and Neil’s voice is great on the verses — but the track is completely ruined by him shouting and SCREECHING through the chorus! Sonically it makes my ears bleed, it’s that bad. Why couldn’t he have rapped in his soft, quentessentially English voice like he does on West End Girls? I get that he’s playing a character, but a softer tone would have fitted better with the whole vibe of the track. Wish I could edit those bits out.

Only the dark - this is the most melodic track for my money (a warm soothing balm for my ears after Neil's screeching on "Monkey Business"!) I just love how the chorus goes to another, quite surprising place, yet still feels like a remarkably cohesive song. Reminds me a bit of 1980s Prefab Sprout somehow.

Burning the Heather - another beautifully melodic track which really benefits from the longer duration.

Wedding in Berlin - not nearly as awful as feared. Essentially a techno track punctuated by very short bursts of the “Wedding March”. Could see this being played at a wedding party by people who like dance music!

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glennjridge
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#377 Post by glennjridge »

People were saying such amazing things about "Hoping for a miracle", but I have to say in my opinion, one "Numb" was enough thank you.
the song just meanders and wallows and then when it finally hits the chorus, you are thinking surely this cant be it, the chorus...can it?
the words "hoping for a miracle" just sort float on some non descript chord, neil upturns miracle as if that will make it something.

if I had to say something positive about the album, the album overall has a great bunch of lyrics. musically though I felt like on this album they were on automatic pilot for too many of the songs musically.

Wilo the wisp
happy people
I dont wanna
monkey business
are the tunes I like.
I REALLY love happy people and wilo the wisp though

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MikeyC
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#378 Post by MikeyC »

Anyone take notice of the way Neil says “rented flat” in Will-o-the-wisp? You can almost see the sly grin and it makes me chuckle!!

pet potential
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#379 Post by pet potential »

I usually just read here but thought I‘d share my opinion for once after a few listens :wink:
To set it into place: I‘m 30 and my favourite albums are Nightlife, Introspective, Yes and Actually.

Will-o-the-wisp
Having read some reviews before it came to be pretty much what I expexted. It certainly is an energetic opener and as such, I prefer it over Happiness, but not Axis. As someone who lived in Berlin it‘s nice to here the names of some places and as much as I appreciate the dance-y vibe of the track, it‘s not single material.

You are the one
This didn‘t stick with me at all after the first listen. It‘s a nice little tune I guess but it struggles to be interesting... Maybe it gets better after hearing it some more!

Happy people
I agree with opinions on here that it sounds very 90‘s, which I kind of like. The spoken parts are cool and the chorus is catchy. I can see myself humming this on the street or under the shower :D This might be a single.

Dreamland
Obvious single but I don‘t care too much for the track. As one of the few, I prefer Olly‘s singing on this one.

Hoping for a miracle
After ‚You are the one‘ the second calm track, which I very much prefer over the latter. The production is beautiful. I‘m not too overwhelmed at the moment but I think that it might grow on me quite a bit.

I don‘t wanna
I really love this song, best on the album in my opinion. It has a clear ‚In his imagination‘ vibe going and that is a good thing! The synths, the bassline, how Neil‘s voice fits the music, the lyrics...
Had it on repeat til now, let‘s see how long this enthusiasm is gonna last :D

Monkey business
Certainly something you wouldn‘t expect from the boys but all the better for it! I prefer this version over the radio one and also choosing it as a single seems obvious, as it stands out on the album.

Only the dark
It‘s a bit cheesy but I like it. Like ‚Hoping for a miracle‘, I‘m not too excited after the first listen but it could be a grower.

Burning the heather
I loved the single version and I‘ll have to get used to this one as the structure, especially of the now second verse, seems a bit odd. Still a great song although musically it falls out of place.

Wedding in Berlin
I don‘t get the hate at all! It sounds very Berlin. The lyrics are a bit annoying for sure, but while after all the negative reviews on this forum I expected the worst, it‘s a pretty cool track. Looking forward to the instrumental and I can even imagine a potential Disco 5 sounding something like that 8)

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Jamesqdot
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#380 Post by Jamesqdot »

Right. I've just seen the video for Monkey Business and... I think I'm converted. :D

Brasa
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#381 Post by Brasa »

First impressions after first listen:
Very good album, my favourites (among tracks released today) are will o the wisp and Hoping for a miracle.
I also enjoyed I don't wanna, that reminds me a lot the barfly version of it's a sin.
I didn't like much happy people, it sounds a bit cheap and also reminds me some late80-early90 hit bit I can't say which one.
Wedding is really camp, the snippet sounded better and it doesn't really fit in the album; anyway i bet it will become a classic for wedding parties.

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billjermaine
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#382 Post by billjermaine »

Wedding in Berlin .. their sexiest rhythm track (since Sexy Northerner) but coupled with what has to be their unsexiest lyrics ever.

I can't quite decide if it's a marriage made in heaven. :shock:

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Andie
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#383 Post by Andie »

I've listened to the album 3 times already & my first impressions stayed the same!! I enjoyed all the songs, although Wedding was probably my least favourite. It wouldn't have been if they'd left out the "wedding march" bits. No further analysis right now!!!

Edit!! Current favourite is Will-o-the-wisp :D
Don’t be scared, for only the dark can show you the stars

wieske
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#384 Post by wieske »

'Wedding in Berlin' is such a fun track! I really like this one!!
Don't give me all your northern pain
Don't sell me New York in the rain
Let's leave our promises behind
Rewind and try again

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stussyboy
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#385 Post by stussyboy »

Will-o-the-wisp is right up there isn’t it?

They’ve had some amazing album openers - this definitely sits up there with Left to my own devices, BB and Can you forgive her?
NewYork London Tokyo LosAngeles

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stussyboy
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#386 Post by stussyboy »

The album is much better than Super for me- more ideas, better songs, better melody, less generic and - hey! - more PSB
NewYork London Tokyo LosAngeles

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tottenhammattspurs
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#387 Post by tottenhammattspurs »

Release meets Behaviour at an over 40s club night. 9.5/10
is is and isnt isnt

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rashomon
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Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#388 Post by rashomon »

tottenhammattspurs wrote:Release meets Behaviour at an over 40s club night. 9.5/10
Well played sir!

Third listen now - it’s a beautiful album

The perfect soundtrack for striding through the streets of London as I’m doing currently
you could say conventional ... and I could claim intentional

Drunk Swede
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#389 Post by Drunk Swede »

Happy people is an absolute joy! Only the dark is a really beautiful song, but sounds a bit thin. Wonder what Trevor Horn would have done with it.
Programmed in the system

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Ghost within this house
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#390 Post by Ghost within this house »

I've listened to all the tracks 4-5 times, and the album in sequence twice.

It's incredibly rich, Hotspot. There are so many nooks and crannies. And, if you'll forgive the oxymoron, plenty of 'fresh nostalgia'.

The first few days with a new Pet Shop Boys album are a bit like what it must feel to be on honeymoon in an arranged marriage; you know you're going to spending a lot of time together, and at first things are a bit awkward. What I love about Hotspot so far is that it bares its soul even on first listen...it is a much more profound piece of work than its Price predecessors, so much so that it seems odd to think of it as part of the same triptych.

I'm finding the slower songs the most rewarding, especially Hoping for a miracle and Only the dark (which was the real standout on first listen). Burning the heather sounds fantastic in full length. I agree with those early reviewers who said that Dreamland gains from its place in the running order, especially as a segue from Happy People.

The album is also a defiant statement of the quest for personal happiness in a troubled world - 'happy people, living in a sad world' is a good strap line for the whole album - and in that context, there is something incredibly affirming about the closing wedding march.

I can't help making a connection between the distorted church bells at the end of '80s/'90s anthem Happy People and the 2020 wedding bells that close the album - a celebration of gay marriage rights as a sort of triumphant resolution.

But it's early days, and I always over-think things.

I definitely love Hotspot already.
Firing verbal shots.......like a Tommy Gun

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