Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

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Remark
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#466 Post by Remark »

First I must acknowledge Dog’s review and summary, which I agree with 100%! Completely feeling the same things. :clap:
Dog wrote:
Sat 25 Jan 2020, 11:13 am
I think they have given us a rich album here, one which will bring decades of pleasure, and one which gives them a new seam to mine, that subtly shifts away from the lasers and the bangers and reintroduces depth without compromising on any fronts.
I’ve spent the past 2 days listening and have loved reading these reviews prior and during my listening pleasure. On the whole I love this album — such a different experience from the former two in the trilogy. I'm not hearing any Stuart Price vibes at all really, which is surprising. I thoroughly love the overall lush/analog/hifi feel, and firmly believe it explores new sonic territory whilst staying connected to and committed to PSB standards and soundscapes.

As far as my ratings go below, for context a few examples of 10/10 for me would be Left to my own devices, I’m not scared, The way it used to be, Inside a dream, Love is bourgeois construct, King’s Cross, and Integral (there are more 10s for me of course but this is just a variety!).

Will-o-the-wisp
Wow what an opener! When I awoke yesterday at 7 AM, like a kid on Christmas morning, I put on my headphones and experienced this as my wake up call at full volume! DAMN. This is my favourite track on the album. It’s absolutely everything I love about PSB — intense, thrilling, exciting chord changes, a complex story/character, and all those electronic atmospheric elements. A gold standard of PSB goodness, on par with the full-on wall of sound perfection that is Integral. Oh and at 3:08 into the track, what a glorious chord-stab nod to Inside a dream!
10/10

You are the one
Absolutely splendid second track and comedown after the manic momentum of the opener. I have already assigned this beautiful song to my husband and have sang it to him. I love Neil’s voice here and the sound really feels lush. A particular highlight is the middle bit at 2:20, when the song fades into an analog dream with the piano that eventually creeps back to its full aural glory. It’s almost like you drift into dreamland, which Neil and Years & Years will tell us about later in the album journey. Personally I can’t wait to hear this song on vinyl.
7/10

Happy people
Lots of positive response on the forum about this one. I am very drawn in with the first (and last) 30 seconds…at first I thought the song would sound much different than it actually does, and I wish that those 30 seconds would have lasted much longer and been explored more fully. I think it’s a good PSB track, it sort of reminds me of a lost cousin of Metamorphosis. Really like the key/chord changes. I appreciate the expected HappySad approach to the lyrics, but the synthesized “Peeeeeople….happpppy peeeeeople” at 1:56 kinda gets under my skin and not in a good way. Gives me One and one make five vibes in the context of the album.
5/10

Dreamland
Agreed with most here about how this track feels situated correctly within the running order on the album. Although I do like the song, my fondness has faded even more since hearing all of Hotspot. It was the right choice for a single though, and the duet is compelling. The bass line is SO good, and gets better with each listen. Lyrically I love it within the context of the album as well.
6/10

Hoping for a miracle
Such a moody opening, and the wobbly vocoder and synths that slide in at the start are so vintage and cool. Again I can’t get over how great Neil’s voice sounds here. A lovely mellow track, and one of their better ballads. And also a great description of this character in the lyrics. I can see many people relating to this — it’s almost the sad denouement of the life depicted of the character in Twenty-something.
7/10

I don’t wanna
What a fun funky track. I read someone’s review about how they didn’t like the warpy synths but I think they make the song. Neil’s vocals sound so good double-tracked on the verses. And the drums here are light and fluffy. The middle bit around 2:00 is yet another great use and variation of that vocoder sound that pops in now and again. I could see this being a single. And the lyric — "In a song he hears that rhythm’s a dancer and it won’t take no for an answer” — is PSB witty brilliance. I love when Neil references other artist’s songs, like in another “wanna” song, I want to wake up: "I stood at the kitchen sink, my radio played songs like 'Tainted Love' and 'Love Is Strange’, as I listened and the words hit my ears I cried sudden tears.” So so good.
7/10

Monkey business
I was initially put off by this track, particularly with Neil’s shouty voice a la The former enfant terrible's “gimme a bandwagon and I’ll jump on it” lyric, which is one of my most despised PSB moments. However the song absolutely has grown on me, to the point now where it is easily one of my faves on the album, if not one of my faves in general. A classic for sure. And wow — the video! — now that’s what I’m talking about. What a surprise and an extraordinarily rambunctious complement to the song. As has been said, Chris’ dancing could not be more amazing, especially as his reclusive nature has become even more intense over the years.
9/10

Only the dark
Instant classic. Gorgeous melodies, sound, lyrics. Definitely in love with it. My only 2 sonic gripes — first, at 0:36 the snare drum kicks in more fully, but then drops again, then pops back again at 1:10. They should have kept it minimally kicking on every other beat until 1:10! It continues to be inconsistent throughout the track. My other annoyance is the fade out! Way way way too quick and early. This song needs to breathe, and should be 5 minutes at least. If these two things were corrected this track would be in 10/10 territory for me.
9/10

Burning the heather
This track has fully grown on me, and I love it even more now in the album. This complete version is better. I think this could have been the album closer. I don’t think it should have been a single but what is a single really these days? Definitely one of their stronger ballads and the guitar is a perfect accompaniment. Also love the trumpet bit.
9/10

Wedding in Berlin
I’m not sure why this song is getting so much hate. I think it’s kind of a fun and odd way to end the album. I actually quite like the wedding march bits and the bass line is superb. Very Chris Lowe. And the track has made me reflect on my own wedding from 2018 and you better believe that had this song been out, I would have played it on the dance floor during the reception, especially given my friends and family’s full awareness of my PSB obsession! (My husband and I opted to do our first dance to Madonna’s Vogue). Anyway, I like Wedding in Berlin. Would definitely prefer it as a b-side and not the album closer.
4/10

All said, what a refreshing and unique way to end the Stuart Price trilogy. Never would have expected this sound from him. As for where Hotspot sits in my ranking of PSB albums, I’ll need to give it more listens to determine that, but it’s confidently in the middle for sure. (To see my full ranking, visit my dedicated PSB page and scroll down a bit).

Total score: 7.3/10

Keep the reviews coming, dear Petheads! These moments come around only once every few years and I love soaking them up!

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#467 Post by Pod »

My two penneth for what it’s worth:

Hotspot hits the spot for me - a real mixed bag of styles, but all distinctly PSB and each song has its merits. It cohesively works as an album, for me this has undertones of Very, Nightlife and Fundamental which is no bad thing in my book. Where Electric took us to the dancefloor, Super to a party, Hotspot takes us to a variety of places - disco, bedroom melancholy, a wedding - you name it.
Will-o-the-wisp is just phenomenal a real banging, urgent, aggressive full on Berlin referencing masterpiece that has a synth hook you’ll remember long after Winter is over. PSB in overdrive driven by a Stuart Price turbo that is the nearest we get to Electric on the album.
You are the one is Behaviour-esque in its delicacy and sentiment, but Neil’s sweet overtones seem darkened by the desperation for the one he can’t have. Melodically beautiful and washes over you like a warm bath.
Happy people I adore right now - a really catchy tune which is more of an earworm than some give it credit for. The abalogue synth sound is really prominent here and the italo-piano lends itself to the Very era - I was immediately transported to 1993 anyway! Neil’s spoken vocal lends itself well to the song and the line ‘no-one comes from nowhere’ I love.
Dreamland is given new life on the album for me, initially skeptical of this tune I feel it has its place and fits the album well. I can see why it was chosen as a single and if you listen to the album in full, you appreciate why it is there.
Hoping for a miracle could have been written for Nightlife - similar style with an added sense of self-worth - a good track which sits nicely in the running order, breaking the mood from Dreamland, but bridging the gap to the next track.
I don’t wanna took some growing on me, but I now like it quite a bit. Neil’s insistent vocal adds to the quality and the swirling synths add layers of sound which you need to appreciate through headphones.
Monkey business is simply the catchiest, funky, driven, fun song they have released in years - nothing else needs to be said. Love it.
Only the dark is simply beautiful - let the lyrics enter your subconscious, melody melt your mood and give in to its sheer elegance.
Burning the heather is one of my favourite tracks - layers of meaning, lovely guitar work and generally wonderful.
Wedding in berlin - Hmm - jury still out. Instrumental version is ok, enough said.
All in all a great addition to the PSB cannon - beautifully produced and put together, but very different from the other two Price albums. Euro modernist pop meets it’s stay at home partner in a cafe in West Berlin.
Just for the sake of it, make sure you're always frowning. :|
It shows the world that you've got substance and depth.

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The Problems With Hotspot

#468 Post by Paninaro2020 »

Please note this in this is my personal opinion.

Is anyone else really disappointed with this album? I know I am, I think some serious mistakes were made. The album starts off really strong, Will-o-the-wisp really fits in with Two Divided by Zero and Can You Forgive Her. You are the one and Only the Dark reminds me of Nervously off of Behaviour and Happy People is also really groovy.

Why were Decide and An Open Mind relegated to B-Sides? Surely Decide would of made a better finale :wall:

Dreamland is possibly the worst single they have ever done in my honest opinion, Before and Numb are leagues ahead of it! It should of been on a Years & Years album if they really wanted to release it. :gag: Sounds like a parody song.

I really like Monkey Business and Burning The Heather, Decide and An Open Mind would of been great singles too. :clap:

Overall I think this album is the worst they have released it could have been one of the best if they swapped a few tracks. The Agenda EP was miles better than some of the Shi** on Hotspot. I'm glad the Stuart Price era is drawing to a close, I really like some of the analouge sounds on the Album but they never get to reach full potential on a lot of the songs.

Not the best start to the 20's but I have faith that they will be on top form again soon. :down:

For reference I think:

Hotspot 5/10
Agenda 8/10
Super 7/10
Electric 7/10
Elysium 8/10
Yes 8/10
Fundamental 7/10
Release 6/10
Nightlife 6/10
Bilingual 7/10
Very 9/10
Behaviour 10/10
Introspective 9/10
Actually 10/10
Please 10/10
Test The Limits Of Your Inhibition

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#469 Post by le petit corbusier »

billjermaine wrote:To all the people that are loving Wedding in Berlin, can I just remind you of these lyrics:

We're getting married
Because we love[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]each[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]other
We're getting married[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]today
We're getting married
Because the time feels[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]right
We're doing it without delay

I mean .. is this really how you want your Pet Shop Boys albums to end ?
Well, I love the song!
Look left, then right
And run for your life

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#470 Post by Dog »

billjermaine wrote:To all the people that are loving Wedding in Berlin, can I just remind you of these lyrics:

We're getting married
Because we love[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]each[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]other
We're getting married[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]today
We're getting married
Because the time feels[FOUR-PER-EM SPACE]right
We're doing it without delay

I mean .. is this really how you want your Pet Shop Boys albums to end ?
For a romantic album about Berlin, it’s the perfect close. From Will-o-the-wisp through You are the one and Only the dark, it’s the same journey as Please, which obviously ended with Why don’t we live together? If you don’t like that, just think of it as this album’s Happiness or Pazzo.
Woof.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#471 Post by Paninaro2020 »

Test The Limits Of Your Inhibition

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#472 Post by Markpro »

Remark wrote:
Sat 25 Jan 2020, 1:49 pm
First I must acknowledge Dog’s review and summary, which I agree with 100%! Completely feeling the same things. :clap:
Dog wrote:
Sat 25 Jan 2020, 11:13 am
I think they have given us a rich album here, one which will bring decades of pleasure, and one which gives them a new seam to mine, that subtly shifts away from the lasers and the bangers and reintroduces depth without compromising on any fronts.
I’ve spent the past 2 days listening and have loved reading these reviews prior and during my listening pleasure. On the whole I love this album — such a different experience from the former two in the trilogy. I'm not hearing any Stuart Price vibes at all really, which is surprising. I thoroughly love the overall lush/analog/hifi feel, and firmly believe it explores new sonic territory whilst staying connected to and committed to PSB standards and soundscapes.

As far as my ratings go below, for context a few examples of 10/10 for me would be Left to my own devices, I’m not scared, The way it used to be, Inside a dream, Love is bourgeois construct, King’s Cross, and Integral (there are more 10s for me of course but this is just a variety!).

Will-o-the-wisp
Wow what an opener! When I awoke yesterday at 7 AM, like a kid on Christmas morning, I put on my headphones and experienced this as my wake up call at full volume! DAMN. This is my favourite track on the album. It’s absolutely everything I love about PSB — intense, thrilling, exciting chord changes, a complex story/character, and all those electronic atmospheric elements. A gold standard of PSB goodness, on par with the full-on wall of sound perfection that is Integral. Oh and at 3:08 into the track, what a glorious chord-stab nod to Inside a dream!
10/10

You are the one
Absolutely splendid second track and comedown after the manic momentum of the opener. I have already assigned this beautiful song to my husband and have sang it to him. I love Neil’s voice here and the sound really feels lush. A particular highlight is the middle bit at 2:20, when the song fades into an analog dream with the piano that eventually creeps back to its full aural glory. It’s almost like you drift into dreamland, which Neil and Years & Years will tell us about later in the album journey. Personally I can’t wait to hear this song on vinyl.
7/10

Happy people
Lots of positive response on the forum about this one. I am very drawn in with the first (and last) 30 seconds…at first I thought the song would sound much different than it actually does, and I wish that those 30 seconds would have lasted much longer and been explored more fully. I think it’s a good PSB track, it sort of reminds me of a lost cousin of Metamorphosis. Really like the key/chord changes. I appreciate the expected HappySad approach to the lyrics, but the synthesized “Peeeeeople….happpppy peeeeeople” at 1:56 kinda gets under my skin and not in a good way. Gives me One and one make five vibes in the context of the album.
5/10

Dreamland
Agreed with most here about how this track feels situated correctly within the running order on the album. Although I do like the song, my fondness has faded even more since hearing all of Hotspot. It was the right choice for a single though, and the duet is compelling. The bass line is SO good, and gets better with each listen. Lyrically I love it within the context of the album as well.
6/10

Hoping for a miracle
Such a moody opening, and the wobbly vocoder and synths that slide in at the start are so vintage and cool. Again I can’t get over how great Neil’s voice sounds here. A lovely mellow track, and one of their better ballads. And also a great description of this character in the lyrics. I can see many people relating to this — it’s almost the sad denouement of the life depicted of the character in Twenty-something.
7/10

I don’t wanna
What a fun funky track. I read someone’s review about how they didn’t like the warpy synths but I think they make the song. Neil’s vocals sound so good double-tracked on the verses. And the drums here are light and fluffy. The middle bit around 2:00 is yet another great use and variation of that vocoder sound that pops in now and again. I could see this being a single. And the lyric — "In a song he hears that rhythm’s a dancer and it won’t take no for an answer” — is PSB witty brilliance. I love when Neil references other artist’s songs, like in another “wanna” song, I want to wake up: "I stood at the kitchen sink, my radio played songs like 'Tainted Love' and 'Love Is Strange’, as I listened and the words hit my ears I cried sudden tears.” So so good.
7/10

Monkey business
I was initially put off by this track, particularly with Neil’s shouty voice a la The former enfant terrible's “gimme a bandwagon and I’ll jump on it” lyric, which is one of my most despised PSB moments. However the song absolutely has grown on me, to the point now where it is easily one of my faves on the album, if not one of my faves in general. A classic for sure. And wow — the video! — now that’s what I’m talking about. What a surprise and an extraordinarily rambunctious complement to the song. As has been said, Chris’ dancing could not be more amazing, especially as his reclusive nature has become even more intense over the years.
9/10

Only the dark
Instant classic. Gorgeous melodies, sound, lyrics. Definitely in love with it. My only 2 sonic gripes — first, at 0:36 the snare drum kicks in more fully, but then drops again, then pops back again at 1:10. They should have kept it minimally kicking on every other beat until 1:10! It continues to be inconsistent throughout the track. My other annoyance is the fade out! Way way way too quick and early. This song needs to breathe, and should be 5 minutes at least. If these two things were corrected this track would be in 10/10 territory for me.
9/10

Burning the heather
This track has fully grown on me, and I love it even more now in the album. This complete version is better. I think this could have been the album closer. I don’t think it should have been a single but what is a single really these days? Definitely one of their stronger ballads and the guitar is a perfect accompaniment. Also love the trumpet bit.
9/10

Wedding in Berlin
I’m not sure why this song is getting so much hate. I think it’s kind of a fun and odd way to end the album. I actually quite like the wedding march bits and the bass line is superb. Very Chris Lowe. And the track has made me reflect on my own wedding from 2018 and you better believe that had this song been out, I would have played it on the dance floor during the reception, especially given my friends and family’s full awareness of my PSB obsession! (My husband and I opted to do our first dance to Madonna’s Vogue). Anyway, I like Wedding in Berlin. Would definitely prefer it as a b-side and not the album closer.
4/10

All said, what a refreshing and unique way to end the Stuart Price trilogy. Never would have expected this sound from him. As for where Hotspot sits in my ranking of PSB albums, I’ll need to give it more listens to determine that, but it’s confidently in the middle for sure. (To see my full ranking, visit my dedicated PSB page and scroll down a bit).

Total score: 7.3/10

Keep the reviews coming, dear Petheads! These moments come around only once every few years and I love soaking them up!
Thanks Remark, now i don't have to write my review as you have described 99% of the way i feel regarding all the tracks on Hotspot, are you planning on any mixes yet...i'm sure there must be a Will-O-The-Wisp (Remark Extended Mix) simmering away.

Thanks to Spotify i have heard the album now as my copy from the OS has still not arrived.
I've been a Teenager since before you were born.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#473 Post by Drem »

First verses of "Will-o-the-wisp" gave me strong impression that this song was written as a sort of sequel to "Young offender", even though I know that latter is very unlikely Berlin-linked in any way.
"I think it’s an amazingly good album, I’ve got to be honest with you. It’s one of the albums I feel most proud of. But for people who don’t really know us, and have a sort of an idea about us, ‘Electric’ is more what the Pet Shop Boys are meant to be."
(Neil Tennant, speaking about "Elysium" on the eve of "Electric" release.)

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#474 Post by oakey »

Have listened to the album several times now. Like Happy People and Will-O-The-Wisp (despite the hiddeous title, makes me think of a 1930s Disney cartoon), Hoping for a Miracle, Dreamland and Heather (that one has grown on me), do not like Wedding in Berlin. As for Monkey Bussiness, that one is still a bit too cheesy for my taste, not so much the music (that is actually okay), but the lyrics and Neil's shouty voice. The other ballads still have to grow on me (or not), I am not a big ballad fan anyway. Like the album though, but also found that after a few listens I did not want to hear it again (for now). For me it is the weakest of the 'trilogy' by far. Mainly because musically it is all over the place.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#475 Post by mrcrosby »

Drem wrote:
Sat 25 Jan 2020, 4:06 pm
First verses of "Will-o-the-wisp" gave me strong impression that this song was written as a sort of sequel to "Young offender", even though I know that latter is very unlikely Berlin-linked in any way.
Yes I too got vibes that the Will-o-the-Wisp is also the Young Offender. 'Do you still hang around that old arcade?'.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#476 Post by rashomon »

Hoping for a miracle is slaying me with it's beauty ... that is all.
you could say conventional ... and I could claim intentional

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#477 Post by Roundhead General »

rashomon wrote:Hoping for a miracle is slaying me with it's beauty ... that is all.
Hoping for a Miracle is possibly the most beautiful thing the boys have ever done. I’m completely spellbound by it. It’s definitely my favourite track.


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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#478 Post by jamie1978 »

That moment on Will-o-the-wisp where the analogue synths filter sweep upward in the intro and then the kick drum comes in is just thrilling. Pure magic.

It's moments like that when you realise what a great match Stuart Price is with the PSB's. I'd be very happy if they never worked with another producer again - they work so well together.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#479 Post by gehegu »

I have to say that I didn’t feel like this since “yes”. I can sit and listen to the album on my headphones and really feel the songs. Though super and electric sound great and are really enjoyable they don’t possess the “soul” hotspot emanates.

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Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#480 Post by Roundhead General »

jamie1978 wrote:That moment on Will-o-the-wisp where the analogue synths filter sweep upward in the intro and then the kick drum comes in is just thrilling. Pure magic.

It's moments like that when you realise what a great match Stuart Price is with the PSB's. I'd be very happy if they never worked with another producer again - they work so well together.
I completely agree. He’s brings out the best in them. I’m not sure if everyone on here would feel the same way though!


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