Single Of The Week
Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

SELECTED 03/04/02

Home And Dry
Pet Shop Boys
CDRS 6572

There's something very odd about the fact that in the past year I've not got around to updating Single of the Week at all, even though I've been buying more singles than ever. Having accumulated almost everything on CD from the archives that I wanted (now I need to wait for re-releases, not hunt down originals), my weekly excursions to HMV more often than not see me purchasing the latest in disposable teen pop and appalling everyone in sight by doing so. But nevermind.

The first new Pet Shop Boys single in two years certainly doesn't fall into the 'disposable teen pop' category. With liberal lashings of guitar (courtesy of Johnny Marr), it's been hailed by critics as almost a new sound for PSB, though there's no mistaking Neil Tennant's voice.

What's perhaps most striking about the track is that it has an absolutely straightforward lyric, in which Tennant laments the fact that his lover is far away. This is quite a shock coming from the band that brought us such relatively complex (and frequently bitter) lyrics as 'Can You Forgive Her?' and 'I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore'. That's not to say that the approach doesn't work; ver Boys have long maintained that they're generally far more sincere than people give them credit for.

This mellow approach is also evident on the new PSB album, the wittily-titled Release. On one or two tracks they sound surprisingly like the Beatles (and I mean that in a good way). What's more of a worry is the fact that they've now been actively recording for 18-odd years. God I feel old.

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