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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 29 March 2009
Yes the Pet Shop Boys are one of the very few bands that have delivered consistently good pop records for 25 years. And yes, Yes is one their best albums they have made in that time, dare I say it at least as good as Behaviour. There's great depth here, fantastic dance tracks, majestic melancholy and just brilliant pop music that fit almost as well into today's scene as it would have done 2 decades ago.

There's much for 80's music fans to love; the infectious Did You See Me Coming would not be out of place on a New Order record; Vulnerable could have been lifted straight off Behaviour, but equally Love etc and Pandemonium amongst others could have come at any point since. Amazingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, all the songs on Yes are excellent. My favourite track is King Of Rome, it has that Jealousy feel to it; melancholy in spades; Neil's haunting voice losing nothing in all this time.

20 years ago Yes would have hit the number 1 spot with ease, many of tracks would have got to number 1 in the singles chart too had they been released. Would that be the case now, I wish - where is quality today, so lacking in an "Idle" world?

This record deserves a wide audience. If you have not discovered the Pet Shop Boys start here and then buy Behaviour, then Please, Actually and Fundamental. You will be rewarded

For me the purchase of West End Girls at a record shop off Oxford Street back in the late 80's led to a journey around the world which lasted 20 years and continues today. Yes takes me back over that time, it is on my iPod now and I know I will play it repeatedly over the coming weeks and months.
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on 29 March 2009
If ever there was an album confirming the Pet Shop Boys' influence over pop music of the past 20 years this is it. 'Yes' is a delight. True, there are no real surprises here in terms of change of direction but what you do get are 11 tracks that have been mined deep from the PSB goldmine. The arrangements are sumptuous and the melodies are powerful - in most cases. There are no less than (at least) five great hit singles here - 'Love etc.', 'All Over the World', 'Beautiful People', 'More Than a Dream' and 'Pandemonium'. That's nearly half the album! These guys have a knack of writing melodies and spikey lyrics that - once you hear them - you really can't get them out of your head. Truly infectious. So, congratulations to the guys. If you love PSB, you will love this album. If you have not been into them, then this album is unlikely to sway you. An upbeat, optimistic 'power pop' album in depressing times.
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can it really be 25 years!!!

the pop pioneers return with a stunning new album harking back to the good old days!!! totally unique and as flamboyant as ever...

track by track

"love etc" is a standard pet shop boys track and the first single! ingenious as ever, simple yes complex at the same time..and a great chorus thats gets in your head and you end up singing it all day! 9/10

"all over the world" reminds me of the "bilingual" album! its a bit ploddy and annoyingly happy sounding...i prefer a bit of miserabilism! 8/10

"beautiful people" is very much the same as the previous track, ok as an album track 8/10

"did you see me coming" is pure poptastic perfection! all about finding new love, its so uplifting! one of my favourite pet shop boys tracks ever! 10/10

"vunerable" is another classic with great lyrics about putting on a face in a relationship - and a perfect vocal delivery by neil 10/10

"more than a dream" keeps the classic theme of the old psb sound, another love song! i love it 10/10

"building a wall" is yet another gem! i think it has a deep politic message, about life these days however i like to listen to it as a self preservation song! has a great spoken bit by neil about sand in the sandwiches...another great track 10/10

"king of rome" slows it down a bit...a bit maudling about life but yet another classic! 10/10

"pandemonium" i love that word! and i love the song - full on electro feast! perfect pop perfection about falling in lurve! would be a great single release! 10/10

"the way it use to be" is another favourite! i think im going to explode this album is so good!! great lyrics about thinking of the past and lost love...the track builds and builds! 10/10

"legacy" is another political song about the changing world..ok and a swirling orchestra but my least favourite track 6/10

i would tell anyone to buy this wether you are a fan or not!
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on 3 October 2016
The cooperation between Xenomania and Pet Shop Boys resulted in this very dull affair: "Yes". At par with its predecessor album - the unapologetically catastrophic "Fundamental " (2006), Yes ranks alongside the Trevor Horn-produced album as an overdone and musically poor record. Pet Shop Boys will have therefore managed to release the two worst albums of their career in a three-year span, a shame when one thinks about the glory of productions such as "Release" (2002) or "Battleship Potemkin" (2004), at that point the most satisfactory recent efforts from the Boys.
So what is wrong with "Yes"?
To be honest, first and foremost: its sound. I thought that the bittersweet experience with Trevor Horn on "Fundamental" would lead the boys away from an album produced by one team only but similar problems produce the same results: a completely homogenous album sonically, homogenous to the point of dullness.
The main problem for me is a hardcore instrumentation that was designed for Girls Aloud with musically very thin material from the Pet Shop Boys, confirming the creative crisis faced by the band since 2005. What is quite frustrating is the fact that with "Yes" the Boys fall again in the pitfall of bigger and louder for the sake of bigger and louder - that was the problem of Fundamental.
The album is divided in three different types of songs:
The first ones are block narratives, where Neil Tennant develops a story (most of the time not very interesting) and sticks some music to it (usually not very inspiring): this is the case with "King of Rome", "Building a wall" (the poor man's "Integral"), and "The way it used to be". The best one of these was the great "Gin and Jag", but for some reason it is the B-side of "Love etc" instead of being an album track of its own. Among this lot one has to include "Legacy", the final track on the album - but "Legacy" is a success. It is one of those "built-up" songs where the instrumentation develops until a beautifully-arranged climax. Stylistically it is not far from "One thing leads to another", the masterpiece from Pet Shop Boys's "Relentless". It could have been a triumph had it not been from a ridiculous an embarrasing circus music interlude in French. A very good track then but not that original. At least the album ends on a high.
After that the second types of tracks we have are the more or less successful pop tunes, such as "More than a dream", so predictable that it felt like a Girls Aloud track, "Beautiful People", a song with a good intro and a good conclusion but musically quite poor, and thankfully two very good songs, "Vulnerable", a well-crafted and well-structured song, and "All over the world", sort of tree hugging song with a very basic, minimal idea saved by a great instrumentation and a great guitar intro by Johnny Marr.
We are left with the three masterpieces of this album, phenomenal five-star tracks that would have deserved better company: "Love etc", a timeless PSB song alongside "Always on my mind", "Being Boring", Go West" or "New York City Boy" - we described it at length in our review of the single; "Did you see me coming", disarmingly simple pop song, uptempo and "feelgood"; and the glorious "Pandemonium", starting with an amazing chord change on the choir and not looking back after that. These three tracks are a great addition to the canon but they do not save another nondescript album three years after "Fundamental", making us doubt that the Boys are still relevant in the world of 2009 pop music.
A depressing listening experience overall.
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on 19 March 2014
Here's a thought... perhaps the PSB's should call an album "Bi-Polar", because that's what they REALLY are. Up and down like a tart's knickers. For every "Bilingual" there's a "Nightlife", for every "Yes" there's a "Fundamental". This is one hell of an UP album from the boys, so the usual melancholic tones are pretty muted. In fact the first four tracks "Love etc.", "All Over The World", "Beautiful People" and "Did You See Me Coming" are relentlessly upbeat for the boys. OK, so "Vulnerable" is solipsistic, but it may also be a companion/answer piece to go on the mantlepiece along with Robbie Williams' "Strong". "More Than A Dream" bounces back up again, "Building A Wall" is about being young and gay in England "'Oo d'you think you are - Captain Britain??". "King of Rome" slips a bit into melancholy, "Pandemonium" stomps right back into High NRG, with "The Way It Used to Be" following wistfully, before a grand finale and follow up to "Left to my Own Devices" in "Legacy" a pumping last track that would be a killer onstage (although requiring a Mahler-sized orchestra!). If nothing else, this album proves the band are producing albums that are at least as good,if not several times BETTER than their earlier ones. Go on, lam out a few quid and have something to bop to in the car!
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on 24 March 2009
One play and on first hearing track after track is brilliant pop, catchy hooks and choruses & Neil Tennants definitive vocals all combine to make a classic but fresh-sounding album; buy it, play it, listen to it - you'll love it!
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on 21 March 2009
A good PSB album. Its closest sibling is probably NightlifeNightlife and many of these upbeat melodic songs would not have been out of place on that 1999 CD.

A synopsis:
The Way It Used To Be - the best track which thumps along nicely and has Neil's vocal taking the parts of two characters looking back on a past relationship.
Building A Wall - a real grower that really is about walls, and references the Berlin one, Hadrian's and probably the one in Neil's back garden.
All Over The World - almost a Domino Dancing and Tchaikowsky mashup. A pop song about pop music that should be heard all over the world.
Beautiful People - Johnny Marr's guitar brings a sixties flavour to proceedings. The character in the song is daydreaming that his/her boring life might be replaced by a glamorous celeb one; the anithesis to Love etc, the bouncy opening track, which says that money, fame and fast cars aren't what matter. It's love, silly.
Legacy - somewhat odd reflection on the loss of power of an ex-leader, probably Blair. Occasionally they do things like this - the mice, the film, The Sound of the Atom Splitting; we all make mistakes.
Pandemonium - starts off like the offspring of Blondie's Call Me and the theme from Doctor Who but never reaches those heights again (what could?).
More Than a Dream - Obama's presidential campaign to a disco beat.
Vulnerable - a typical PSB song that could have appeared on any PSB album in the last 25 years. That is not a criticism, by the way.
Did You See Me Coming - Johnny Marr's guitar introduces what sounds like a long lost track from Very.
The King of Rome - the only slow track here sees Neil looking for love and hoping for "your beautiful embrace" but we all know he's not going to get it.

So, all in all, what you'd expect. And if you were hoping for Margery Allingham, Napoleon's son, Jesus, the Man From Uncle, Captain Britain and Daphne du Maurier, you've struck gold. They are the best and we'll miss them when they've gone.
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on 15 March 2009
...and that's neither a compliment or criticism. It's just a fact. PSB's been releasing great tracks for years. Neil's always been modest about the lyrics on the albums, often wanting to create a good dance record. Yet, for years, they've been composing some of the smartest pop records out there. So "Yes" is a departure from the social commentary of Fundamental, their "rock" album Release, or the theatrics of Nightlife. No, Yes is purely a pop album. It's easy on the ears and unlike other PSB works, you won't scratch your head over some of Neil's cryptic lyrics or feel any of the production is too grandiose.

Topically, Yes feels like a pop record. "Love, etc." is PSB's version of "All You Need Is Love," which is straight laced dance pop to a seemingly sinister beat (and a kooky video to boot.) "All Over the World" is classic PSB, and is as grand as they get on this album. Easily the next single, it's a mix of classical and dance, and is seemingly joyous and optimistic. "Intergral," it isn't.

The rest of the album doesn't scream classic, but is rather fun. My other favorite on the album is "Pandemonium," which sounds like Dr. Who in the beginning, but quickly turns into a classic PSB dance track. It's a fun upbeat ecstatic love song.

While "More than A Dream" isn't quite as catchy, the chorus features a soulful vocal from Neil. The performance is probably more spirited than the track. "Vulnerable" is one of the more downer tracks on the album and feels a tad underwritten.

"Building A Wall" is the oddest track on the album, and for that, might be the most memorable. It might be topical, but could be using the wall as a metaphor for relations of sorts. The standout on this track is use of spoken vocals from Neil and Chris (briefly). Something about it feels retro, and like the production on the album, feels very retro.

In the end, the production's the saving grace on the album, even when some tunes don't feel like they'll linger in your mind for very long. It invites repeated listens for its pure pop sensibility. The writing is not as sharp as their prior efforts, but it doesn't feel as if it's meant to. Pet Shop Boys are great artists, but sometimes I like to hear them do a pure pop record without all the irony or the politics.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 January 2016
"Pet Shop Boys" have been my favourite group from the 1980's, I have all their albums.

I saw them for the first in concert back in 2009, and again for the second time in 2013 and both were GREAT nights :-)

This is double CD set of pure bliss from the Pet Shop Boys. :-)

The ninth CD album I bought of theirs. :-)

With every album they do they go from strength to strength. :-)

If you asked me if I’d any favourites my answer would be yes, it’s the entire CD. :-)

I love listening to the music as they have such a fantastic sound. :-)

If you’re a Pet Shop Boys fan then this a great album to have. :-)
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on 28 July 2012
After having released a so-so Fundamental in 2005 PSB stormed back with this very joyful album, full of catchy tunes that generally hold in check overblown arrangements. The result is a bag of tunes filled with hooks and bells and whistles in top PSB category.

The lead track, Love Etc., is the best of the bunch, being probably among the best songs ever describing the Manic Millennium excesses (and its accompanying video). Other very strong tracks include the "orchestral meets dance music" All Around the World and the dance oriented More Than a Dream. There are, however, many tracks close to being as good and what constitutes as top picks varies a lot as seen by other reviews.

This album is among the best of PSB, being close in standards to Very and Actually. If you only buy a handful of PSB albums, include this one.
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