Sorry - I just couldn't resist it... but I believe give credit where credit is due...
At www.dotmusic.com the review given to the new Pet Shop Boys collection "PopArt - The Hits", is just so much what I agree with!
They give it 10 out of 10 (quite rare indeed!)
"Are they the greatest pop act of all time?
It's been a long time coming, but England finally has good cause to crack open the champagne and celebrate. Not because the fraudulent Mr Bush has left our shores, nor even the rugby, but because of the release of this quite astounding record. It states its case clearly and convincingly: the Pet Shop Boys are probably the greatest pop act of all time.
Arriving fully formed with 'West End Girls' - still as sleek, smart and modern as it sounded in 1985 - the PSBs have enjoyed a career of startling consistency and vivid originality, releasing songs that have conquered dancefloors and hearts in every corner of the world. From thrillingly dramatic disco numbers ('It's A Sin', 'Always On My Mind') to subtle melancholia ('Suburbia', 'What Have I Done To Deserve This'), if you haven't fallen in love with at least one of these songs you are probably disturbed, deaf or dead.
The disc is split into two sides - 'Pop' and 'Art' - but this is a typical PSB red herring. Nothing on the 'Pop' side is as straightforwardly upbeat as the division suggests (try the mournful minimalism of 'It's Alright'), while every track on the 'Art' side bristles with hooks and nagging melodies (try the epic electronica of 'So Hard').
Where a greatest hits album often fails - particularly a double - is in the lesser known songs, but here 'Pop Art' triumphs. 'Love Comes Quickly' from 1985 (a flop by their standards) remains their most gorgeous love song, an ecstatic deep-bassed swoon they never quite equalled, though 1994's haunting, low key 'Liberation' came close. 'Can You Forgive Her', on the other hand is a seething, bittersweet masterpiece of slashing strings and deadpan asides - "she's made you some kind of laughing stock/ Because you dance to disco and you don't like rock."
Only one criticism of the PSBs has ever stuck, and it's the old chestnut about their so-called irony. Whilst the slur applies to the kitschy cover of 'Go West' (one of just two so-so tracks, with the clattering 'Single Bilingual'), it's generally a grand injustice. It's impossible to doubt the sincerity behind 'Being Boring''s heartbroken love song to lost youth or the brooding unhappiness of 'Jealousy'. And if the sprightly 'I Get Along' imagines Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson's relationship as a doomed gay love affair, that's called wit, not irony.
It's sadly true that in recent years the Pet Shop Boys have faded commercially, although new track 'Miracles' has a sunny simplicity that may change that. Even if this is the last thing they record, however, the Pet Shop Boys have been one the few acts to push at the boundaries of pop, doing so with style, imagination, wit and love. 'Pop Art' is an essential, not a luxury."
|Replied by CharlesX
Post time: 2003-12-06 15:20:38
Bought my copy last week, and I must say... it DOES bring back memories...! I agree with the sentiment that every self-respecting music fan should have this in their collection. Quite brilliant!