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Elysium - Pet Shop Boys

The title of this album refers to a place of perfected happiness at the end of the earth in which heroes are conveyed by the gods after death. I don’t know what that has to do with this album, but Elysium is a return to form for PSB, and in this case, less is more. The album has a restricted sound and I found every song to work together in unison. All twelve songs have a controlled, mid-tempo sound and are sonically consistent with each other. The best tracks on here are the bookends Leaving and Reqiuem in Demin and Leapardskin, along with Your Early Stuff, Ego Music, and Hold On. None of these tracks ever reach the glitzy, euphoric heights like this band is known for, but this is a blessing in disguise – it’s easier to be swept up in the beautiful synths and the songwriting.

I was amused by the sarcasm used in Ego Music. This song is a re-write of any interview you may have seen concerning a pop star in the past few years. “In a sea of negativity, I’m a statue of liberty. That’s why people love me”.

I haven’t listened to the bonus tracks (which I am a big believer of if you want to truly understand the focus of the album) but I am sure there is one in there that could replace Winner. I felt like this song did not belong on the album. The lyrics are basic and boring, and it’s a little too campy for my taste. Good for a setting like the Olympics, but I skip this song on repeated listens.

Overall, both men are on their A-game once again. While this album probably won’t garner any new fans or become anything noteworthy, it is definitely one of their best. A shame that artists in North America aren’t producing albums as warm and mature as Elysium, and it’s a shame that I won’t be hearing any of the singles on this album on the radio. Definitely worth a listen if you’re into synthpop. If you’re a previous PSB fan, think of Behaviour

3.5/5

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