sun 09/08/2020

CD: Pet Shop Boys - The Most Incredible Thing | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Pet Shop Boys - The Most Incredible Thing

CD: Pet Shop Boys - The Most Incredible Thing

Electropop duo dabble in orchestral fairytale themes - with what success?

Pet Shop Boys' image of ballet - rather less colourful than their audio interpretation

Let's get the obvious out of the way: yes, this is incredible. Not just the sounds, nor the ambitious staging of Hans Christian Andersen's last story as a ballet, but the fact that, 30 years since they met, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are still making music that's both relevant and gloriously excessive to a frankly crackerdog mental degree. They've tinkered with classical themes before, of course, from setting “Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat” in 1988's “Left to My Own Devices” to their 2004 live soundtrack to Battleship Potemkin, but this is something else. Piling on romantic themes and electronic beats of various flavours, it leaves no stone unturned in finding the most over-the-top fairytale themes, then ornamenting them and ornamenting the ornamentation of the ornaments until the whole thing is a kaleidoscope of whirling, twirling synaesthesic madness.

The Pet Shop Boys have always been about finding the power and emotion of shamelessly populist forms, and they continue to do so here

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"In lesser hands it would be a godawful mess, a bloody explosion in a sweetshop" - Line of the week By the way - correct me if I'm mistaken - I believe I recall reading that the ballet dancer image above was made by H.C.Anderson himself. I rather like its playful simplicity.

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