Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pet Shop Boys - Vocal (first impressions)

So, in another new musical release (its more releases than I can seriously keep up with), one of my all time favorite acts has released the first single from their upcoming album Electric. Electric is by far and away my most anticipated album of 2013, not only because its by Pet Shop Boys but also it is produced by Stuart Price, who's a producer I've wanted Pet Shop Boys to work with on an album for ages. I think its because of all these reasons that I think Vocal is so far, a bit of a let down in all honesty. Especially coming after the promo track Axis (which was incredible), and the teaser for Fluorescent, which I've grown to love now. Don't get me wrong - its a far better track than Winner, but I have to say as far as lead singles go its no Love Etc. For me, there's nothing about the track I love. Sure it's listenable, but for me it has mediocre music (at best) and as for the lyrics... wow. I love Neil Tennant as a lyricist, but Vocal have some of - if not the- weakest Pet Shop Boys lyrics I can honestly remember. And yes, I know a dance song doesn't tend to focus predominantly on lyrics normally, but Pet Shop Boys are far from your average dance group. Their focus has always been on terrific songwriting - that's the reason why I feel Vocal is below average for them. I could live with it if it had irresistible music but as music goes... its a good dance track but there's nothing about it that's particularly original. It feels very safe and even standardized, which is absolutely not what I expect from Pet Shop Boys. Although credit where credit is due, I did love the live clip of it I found, so what's putting me off the studio version I really don't know. Although one pet-hate of mine has to be when Pet Shop Boys use auto-tune. Unless if its for a dramatic robotic effect like in Transparent, but that sort of middling usage like in London and Vocal... I just don't like it. I think I simply have too high expectations, especially knowing the album is a Stuart Price production. I've no doubt that Electric will offer much better, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, I've really liked all the other Electric tracks (including live versions) that I've heard so far, and secondly because for whatever reason; I think Pet Shop Boys have a habit of releasing their weaker tracks from albums as singles more often than not. In any case, its not a bad song as such, it's just not exciting enough for me, although I have no doubt Electric will be very exciting!

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