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10 Sept. 2012 | Format: MP3

4.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 10 Sept. 2012
  • Release Date: 10 Sept. 2012
  • Label: Parlophone UK
  • Copyright: 2012 Pet Shop Boys Partnership Ltd under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd. This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2012 Parlophone Recor
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 50:58
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B008TO8Z1U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,312 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not one of those people who thinks that the Pet Shop Boys' fantastic early output is all there is to them. I find that their career has been one of the most consistently rewarding in modern pop, with plenty of winsome moments in each phase. I say this because a lot of reviews here tend to give Elysium a hard time because it "can't hold a candle to *insert preferred Pet Shop Boys album here*", or something like that. While the Boys' latest offering isn't up there with what I consider to be their best work (Behaviour, Very, Fundamental), it is nevertheless a welcome addition to their catalogue, as accomplished and rewarding an album as any of the ones that preceded it, granted, of course, you're open to what it has to offer.

Neil Tennant has said that he considers Elysium "the Pet Shop Boys' most beautiful album", and indeed, there's a very luxurious, serene quality to a lot of the songs here. The arrangements are more sparse and roomy than, say, the ones on their previous record (the much more typically poppy Yes) and the songs here have much more, well, "Breathing space" so to speak. The leisurely tempo and relative absence of bright flashes of colour mean that a lot of the songs tend to lump together upon the first few listens. Indeed, the only one that stands out right off the bat is "A face like that", tense and busy not unlike their 80's work (those who like their PSB anthemic and dancey, be warned: this is the only song here paced to quicken your pulse). But, each repeated listen is rewarded as the pasty facade of the songs peels away, revealing the subtle production touches and an unexpected warmth that comes with the subdued production choices. Tennant is in fine voice throughout.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been trying to think of which Pet Shop Boys albums are better than this one. Maybe Behaviour; Very, possibly; Actually, Yes (and now I'm confused...). The point is, these guys make it so difficult to choose. But for almost any other pop band around today, you could easily say that Elysium would be their masterpiece.

A group that's been around as longs as PSBs simply has to be winding down by now, trading on former glories - but Elysium sounds almost like a band that's just getting started. I say almost, because while a debut album might sound as fresh and original as this one, it could never have such a complex depth of character (and if that makes it sound like a fine wine, then, good).

I won't do a song-by-song breakdown, as I think one of the most remarkable things about this album is the way it flows together, both sonically and thematically. It's hard to say exactly how this happens, as there are no actual segues and all the songs sound very different from each other; the closest I can get to it is that many songs seem to `trigger' the next. A good example of this is `Your Early Stuff' (title speaks for itself) which kicks into `A Face Like That', a floor-shaking nod to their disco roots with a synth hook marginally smaller than The Shard. Within the songs too, the production is their smoothest ever, positively shimmering with ethereal sounds, and Neil Tennant's voice has never sounded better, or more expressive.

Even songs that I didn't like initially have won me over - `Winner' being the biggest case in point. At first hearing I assumed (as perhaps many have) it was a glib Olympics bandwagon number; but I couldn't have been more wrong.
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Format: Audio CD
In which the Pet Shop Boys produce, if not the best album of their career, then one that is certainly amongst their top three.

Elysium finds PSB in their role of the elder statesmen of pop, viewing the world from the afterlife of mainstream chart success. It's by turns regretful, nostalgic hopeful, and cutting.

Initial reactions: it seems musically disjointed. Tracks seem to clash rather than flow. Subsequent listens reveal that, actually, it's superbly sequenced. The optimism of Memory of the Future turns to the frankly sinister Everything Means Something; the withering Ego Music gives way to the Broadway tinged positivity (or is it desperation?) of Hold On. It's an album of deliberate contrasts of mood.

Temporarily at least, they've abandoned the everything including the kitchen sink direction of old. This is music that's full of space, simultaneously stripped down and lush, and with a newly discovered sense of restraint. At least some of the credit for this must go to producer Andrew Dawson. He provides what the PSB have needed for a considerable time, namely a production style that sounds modern, without overwhelming the character of the music.

Some highlights: Breathing Space is almost overwhelmingly beautiful, and emotionally devastating. Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin conjures up the ghosts of Being Boring, being both elegy and celebration at the same time. Everything Means Something could almost be hewn from the textures of Bowie's "Heroes", with it's grinding, complex timestructures. Leaving (the next single) seems almost slight initially, but then burrows its way into your brain and manages to conjure a bittersweet mixture of fond memories and loss ("Our love is dead/but the dead are still alive".
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