Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Elysium interpretations: An update

So, in the last few days obviously the big news is that Elysium covers and track listing have been released, including confirmed release dates. I suppose now is the fun part is dissecting the song titles and hazarding a guess as to what the album will sound like. By their own admission in the latest issue of Literally, they have said that there's elements of each album in the overall sound of Elysium, but the album it has most resonance with is Behavior. I'm excited and intrigued by that as Behavior is my favorite Pet Shop Boys album and if they make an album of similar quality then it could be special. The theme for the album is death, but they've also been quick to stress that its also uplifting. That correlates very well with their interview they did for Format, where Chris says that they always have a vision of making an album with mostly down tempo, melancholy stuff but then they realize that even they couldn't listen to an albums worth of that. I think we can safely say that the album won't be completely dark then. Some of the titles are very interesting, and the first two tracks: Leaving and Invisible, sound like they could tie in together in some way. The final track on the album; the ingeniously named Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin is an "elegy set to disco music" and by Neil's own admission it sounds very beautiful. Its a tribute to a make-up artist, Lynne Easton, who worked with them and died in 2006. Interestingly, two of the tracks of this era were worked on during the Yes era: Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin was actually considered for inclusion on Yes but Brian Higgins (who produced the album) didn't think much of it. The second track was A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi, which is one of the B-sides for Winner which was written in 2007, worked on again during Yes sessions and now is set for release. Neil has also said that one of the tracks on the album doesn't sound too out of place on Please, and another rumor (although this hasn't come from an official source) says that one of the tracks sounds quite Introspective/early 90's Pet Shop Boys. The album draws on inspiration from every album they've ever done, I hope their comment with regards to that wasn't too literal, as their albums are so different from each other that a hybrid of their various sounds on one album would sound messy. The initial reactions to the record though have proved very positive and I think it's looking increasingly likely that Winner will not represent the sound of the record at all. In a way that actually ties back to Behavior really, after all So Hard was its lead single and look how much it stood out on that particular album. Another track that I am particularly looking forward to hear is Ego Music, which contains the chorus "Ego music, its all about me!". Its a classic Pet Shop Boys theme and sounds very blunt, again much like How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously. I was disappointed with Winner but I have to say, Elysium sounds like its going to be very interesting, and I think we could be looking at a potential Pet Shop Boys classic if it lives up to the hype!

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