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This review is from: Very (Audio CD)
This album, Very and its much more rare companion, Very Relentless, can be summed up in the Pet Shop Boys' own words (one of the lyrics taken from the song Yesterday When I was Mad) -- they've 'both made such a little go a very long way'. A very long way, indeed.
All of the songs on this album have the same feel -- the same texture, the same lyrical quality, the same 'groove' if you will -- which is remarkable for a collection of different songs, from ballads to a roaring remake of the Village People's Go West (a song Toyota still uses occasionally in advertising -- listen for the backing music). One would almost swear that the actual Village People are making up the chorus as Neil Tennant's high-pitched, flat voice calls out 'Life is peaceful there' as the gruff, deep voices growl, GO WEST!
All the songs are dancable (not true of all the songs on all the albums) -- the videos which accompany this album all have the same computer-generated motion and costume and background (someone in the Pet Shop Boys camp obviously had recently discovered computer-generated graphics and animation and decided to have some fun!). I was frankly a bit disappointed with the videos, because the idea was original, but it was the same idea for each video (and we fans are used to stylish, original videos for each song).
This album will please Pet Shop Boys fans; it may find a good home with electronic/disco music fans. As with all Pet Shop Boys songs, listen to the lyrics -- they are witty and thoughtful -- the song Dreaming of the Queen actually plays on a recurrent nightmare/stress dream that the average Brit would have but Americans don't -- the stress that the Queen drops by for a visit when you're not ready (either undressed, or dirty house, &c.) -- probably the closest equivalent stress dream in American terms would be the test-anxiety pop-quiz-you-haven't-studied-for dream.
Other songs include the poignant The Theatre, in which one can sense the frustration of struggling artists as they watch their more successful compatriots pass by; To speak is a sin, recapturing a word from a previous hit, It's a sin, something the no-longer Roman Catholic Tennant likes to muse over now and again; the first semi-hit Can you forgive her, a crashing, triumphant, psychological song that reinforces the ambiguous sexuality of this duo (later to be made less so).
So, pay attention to the lyrics, and have a Very Very good listen.