Monday, June 11, 2012

Pet Shop Boys: "Invisible"

I'm sure I'm not the only one that was a huge fan of Pet Shop Boys back in the day but have long since kind of lost them on the ol' musical radar. There were the hits in the 80's, of course, but it was their 1990 album Behaviour that drove me to dig a little deeper into the band's catalog, becoming an obsessive b-side and remix hunter somewhere along the way (other new wave era synth poppers who "matured" in the early 90s, inspiring similar die hard fandom, include Depeche Mode and Erasure).

Bilingual was the last PSB album I ever really gave a shit about. There were two things at work there: for one, that was the first album that seemed to be as much if not more about experimentation and production techniques than it was about creating catchy tunes, and the irresistible choruses and anthemic, minimalist synth lines were what had always drawn me to the band in the first place.

Furthermore, the late 90's were a big classic rock catch up period for me. I began working in the music department at a Hastings in Amarillo, which gave me insane discounts - particularly on used CDs - so admittedly my appetite for new music at the time was somewhat thwarted by a compulsive drive to stock up on and familiarize myself with vintage catalog titles.

So this is my first concentrated taste of PSB in more than a decade. I may have heard other songs casually along the way, but browsing song titles from 1999's Nightlife on don't trigger any melodic flashbacks in my head. "Invisible" reminds me a lot of Behaviour, specifically the contemplative lead single "Being Boring". Can't wait to hear this, and it occurs to me that - much in the same way I was catching up on the 60's and 70's a decade ago - it's probably about time to go back and revisit the late 90's as well.

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