When I learnt that the fourth single from "Very" would be "Liberation", I was quite surprised. Everybody was expecting "Yesterday, when I was mad" (poppy AND ambitious), or maybe "Dreaming of the Queen" or even the beautiful "The Theatre".
If PSBs were after promoting a ballad, "To speak is a sin" or "Young Offender" would have done the job, as they are both memorable tunes with beautiful instrumentation (synthesizer for "To speak...", electric guitar for "young offender").
Instead, the Boys opted for "Liberation", which is altogether an average song, by all means OK and nicely produced, but which was clearly written on autopilot. As the B-side has the same features ("Decadence" has great orchestral production value thanks to Richard Niles, but poor musical redeeming features), that particular single sounded hopeless.
Hopefully, it is made worth the buy thanks to two pristine remixes of the title song by Eric Miller, better known as E Smoove. In the "E Smoove mix", he simply rewrites the song and gives us a 12-minute long musical saga that is much better than the original - including a beautiful female vocal, unfortunately uncredited.
..but he can still make a great job with the original so in the E Smoove 7" edit, Miller keeps Neil's original vocal track but adds the main features of the 12" remix: it makes for a beautiful single, which would have sounded GREAT on the album.
E Smoove makes "Liberation" worth listening to, but the Pet Shop Boys don't...