ALBUM REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys “Elysium”

Pet Shops Boys have been around the block and then some. They have been praised and criticised, created and inspired, so as they release album 11, “Elysium” they are justified in taking time to reflect. As Neil Tennant chants, ‘You’ve been around but you don’t look too rough, and I still quite like some of your early stuff’, he pre empts the criticism that may be thrown their way. After 30 years in the industry many may feel it is time for the boys to hang up their hats, but as ‘Elysium’ so resolutely demonstrates, these boys aren’t going anywhere just yet.

Admittedly ‘Elysium’ is a far more downbeat affair than their earlier outings, but that makes it all the more remarkable. While they may have dropped the beats briefly, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have managed to piece together a touching collection that feels effortless.

Though there are a few slip ups along the way, most notably the shambolic ‘Face Like That’, ‘Elysium’ is an album that still floats light years ahead of their contemporaries.

As Tennant and Lowe nod their head to the late great Robin Gibb on the impressive lead single ‘Winner’, they also prove that they can rework their signature sound to suit their current life status. Other highlights include the serene ‘Breathing Space’, all encompassing ‘Invisible’ and irrepressible ‘Ego Music’.

Despite a reflective overtone, ‘Elysium’ is not a swansong. Pet Shop Boys are as good as they have always been. The pace may have relaxed but the product is in tact.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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