I'm 47 who gave up on pop music over twenty years ago, but I still purchase and listen to the new stuff that are released by the bands of my youth. Being a big fan from the very beginning, I have all of the Pet Shop Boys' albums. How does `Yes' rate?
Each song, as usual, tends to be a mini-anthem, which is good, and there are some excellent hook lines, supported by hard-pounding faultless production (by Xenomania - who?), but after a while it all gets a little too relentlessly repetitive. Thus the more seductive charm and relaxed pace of `King of Rome', the eighth track, comes as a welcome relief.
I can only agree with the reviews given to this album in the Independent and the Guardian when first released. The former said, "One can't help thinking it's all a bit underwhelming", whilst Michael Hann in the latter said, "It pootles along just as one would expect a moderate-to-strong Pet Shop Boys album to do." (btw, the advertised `extra' on the CD involving the group's website does not work.)
I loved the camp insertion of the theme from Tchaikovsky's ballet, `The Nutcracker' into `All over the World'. But, personally, I think the weakest part is the centre, with tracks four through to seven being mere album fodder. (Hann in the Guardian pointed out how `Building a Wall' "appears to be about Something Important in Politics, but sadly forgets to make any actual sense.") But at least it means the album begins and ends on a relatively high note: a sandwich with nice bread, but meagre filling.