Sunday, April 24, 2016

PET SHOP BOYS-Yes Etc. (2009)


If I'm still in the chill-out, I-need-something-to-calm-me-down mood, but also still in the dance/electronic mood, plus still wanting to pour through the 'P' entries in my music collection, what does all of this equate to? A much-needed session with the world-renowned British duo, PET SHOP BOYS. Even though I've already owned just about everything in their lifetime studio discography, I hadn't yet treated my ears to a few bits and pieces of their releases in this New Millennium, which includes their 2009 album, "Yes". Or more precisely, "Yes Etc.", as I have the special double-disc version (the music completist in me at work again, as usual). Was immediately intrigued by the colorful yet curious design to the cover artwork as pictured above—a check mark comprised of multi-colored squares. Wonder what it signifies? That all of the tunes on this album are 'OK' certified and fit to be listened to? It's visually appealing to me, no matter what the special significance is, and a very suitable representation for the equally appealing, colorful tunes collected in this electronic music gallery. Neil Tennant's familiar soothing vocals and Chris Lowe's even more familiar synthesized arrangements had instantly pulled me out of reality and into their world with "the opening title track, followed by "All Over The World". But it was when my ears took in "Beautiful People" that I felt a huge wave of relief and calm come over me. 'I wanna live by beautiful people': it was those words and the other words of longing in the lyrics that I can totally relate to and were something that I truly needed to hear tonight, just the remedy that the doctor ordered. Of course, the melody itself is beautiful given its half-orchestral, half-ambient flow beneath the rather industrial electronic kick. "Did You See Me Coming?". well this was a jam that I didn't see coming! Instantly put a spark into me with its dancey beat! It was like classic PET SHOP BOYS tuning in to the easy-listening arrangement of he haunting tune called "Vulnerable". Then speaking of things being classic, it felt like the good ole 80's were upon me while taking in the pounding electronic beat of the skippy number "Pandemonium" and the touching song of reflection called "The Way It Used To Be". Just as much of a therapeutic tune that "Beautiful People" was on my emotional state, both "More Than A Dream" and "King Of Rome" would provide additional music therapy for my body, mind and soul—the former's delightful dance groove and cool dreamy ambiance being something I could bask in all day and all night while the slowed tempo and Neil's lofty vocals of the latter reminded me of the duo's talents for creating those wonderful atmospheric moments that breath into every one of my music senses. Epic performances don't get any better than "Legacy", the proper concluding track to other editions of this album. The marching drum beat and the triumphant proclamations of the trumpets form a terrific backdrop to the adventure of a story being told through the lyrics, which is something worth paying particularly close attention to in order to enjoy all of its fruits. As for the second disc in this package, you get alternate dub mixes of a half-dozen of the regular recordings, plus the cool, computerized glitz of "This Used To Be The Future", where Neil makes like a robot from the Space Age with some cool, spacey ambiance swirling in the background throughout. Beneath the digital dictophonics, there's an intriguing message being delivered, discussing the way things used to be and how they could be changed for the better, in so many words. PET SHOP BOYS's "Yes Etc"—one more gem of theirs I can now happily check off from the 'unlistened to' electronic music checklist; have you checked it out yet?

CD #1

1. Love Etc.
2. All Over The World
3. Beautiful People
4. Did You See Me Coming?
5. Vulnerable
6. More Than A Dream
7. Building A Wall
8. King Of Rome
9. Pandemonium
10. The Way It Used To Be
11. Legacy
12. Love Etc. (Pet Shop Boys Sex Mix)

CD #2

1. This Used To Be The Future
2. More Than A Dream (Magical Dub)
3. Pandemonium (The Stars And The Sun Dub)
4. The Way It Used To Be (Left Of Love Dub)
5. All Over The World (This Is A Dub)
6. Vulnerable (Public Eye Dub)
7. Love Etc. (Beautiful Dub)

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