Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Pet Shop Boys - Axis

Consider this a follow up post to the previous one (so much Pet Shop Boys news to digest today which I love.) So Electric and USA tour dates wasn't the only announcement last night, there's also the minor deal of a new Pet Shop Boys song! The name of it being Axis. It's the full version of the same track that served as the Electric teaser from a few months ago, and if I had to describe the track it would be simply "classic Pet Shop Boys". It's hard to articulate just what I'm trying to say, but I think anyone who wanted them to return to their more 80s sound should find much to like about Axis. That being said it still sounds very modern and fresh so its by no means simply a rehash of their past work. Far from it, actually. There's also minimal lyrics in the song. I was wondering (and even expecting really) that the teaser was just a snippet of the introduction  to the song and that lyrics would come to play a greater role. Alias, they don't. That's very much like the tracks on Relentless really. I guess you could say Axis (and Electric as a full record) is a bit like a 2013 sequel to Relentless. On a bigger scale obviously though because as Pet Shop Boys fans will know, Relentless isn't technically a studio album. Axis also has both Neil and Chris' voices (slightly digitized) saying things like "electric energy" and "turn it up". It makes me think every so slightly of Time On My Hands from Disco 3.  The minimal lyrics are no bad thing though, when you think of it logistically their last few records haven't been dance-floor oriented (bar parts of Yes). They've been pretty complex songs really. I was hoping that Elysium's follow up would be more "up" so to speak so its all good for me. The song also has an accompanying video. Already I far prefer it to the two lackluster videos for Winner and Leaving. It's got plenty of strobes which suits the nature of the track perfectly but in true Pet Shop Boys style there's a twist. The video also has rather creepy imagery of two figures (although not Neil and Chris) dancing in some sort of goat head masks. It's similar imagery to what was seen on the first Electric tour date in Mexico last month. I have no idea what significance (if any) these goat heads are supposed to have. It's rather mythological looking but what I can say is that it's definitely an interesting and unusual concept which is more than what the Elysium era imagery had. I had high hopes for the music of Electric and so far I'm very pleased with Axis. I've played it about five times now and every time I hear it I'm loving it more and more. The last 90 seconds of the song I'm particularly addicted to. Those who felt that Pet Shop Boys were past their best with Elysium fear not - I've a feeling Electric is going to be one of their best albums if Axis is anything to go by.

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