I’m not going to lie, I’ve been putting this review off for ages, because I first heard it over a month ago, in a tiny portion of about thirty amazing seconds, but I didn’t want to rush into any kind of review with a ‘ZOMGGG NEW PET SHOP BOYS SINGLE’ kind of mindset, in case it wore off. Y’know, those times when you first hear a song and think of it as some kind of Dawn Of An Era moment in the history of all good music to find that, about a week later all that’s left of said overplayed amazingness is a fairly catchy bit of 3 star alrightness clogging up your iTunes library (Nicole Scherzinger’s ‘Poison’, then).
So now I’ve given it a while to settle in and be digested and such (t’was very tasty, if you were wondering), I’m more able to have a go at this reviewing malarkey and hope I don’t appear as some kind of huge Pet Shop Boys fanboy.
After a few weeks of playing ‘Together’ by the boys from the pet shop, I realise it’s not quite the Dawn Of An Era moment in the history of all good music that I originally thought. That would be pushing it a bit. It is clear however, that it is Actually Quite Good in a haphazardly conglomerated rave tune mixed with a waltz step and block of ice sort of way.
‘Together’ is in waltz time, 3 beats per bar, as opposed to pop’s standard 4 beats, so it is unusually easy to get lost in all the bleeps, beats and Xenomania-esque twiddlings in the production department, and it also makes it quite hard to count the tempo. But that’s not the only reason it’s hard to place a tempo; Neil Tennant just won’t SHUT UP. His voice appears then goes then reappears and pops up every now and then to mention “Together we’ll go all the way-eeeee” in his distant, whispery tones that sound like he’s been hypnotised by a block of ice, which to some may be annoying, but I think you’ll find it’s actually an amazing bit of pop goodness that we should all learn to enjoy very muchly. Plus, who gives a flying testicle about the tempo? As long as it’s fast, right?
And it is fast, not quite techno stomper fast, but it’s definitely danceable fast. And whilst Xenomania are hard at work counting “ONE, two, three, ONE, two, three,”, Neil talks in the lyrics about a perfect kind of relationship that really only ever exists in pop music – ‘Together’s amazing/Together we’re blazing/Together we’ll go all the way” – which could easily be about his relationship with the other pet shop boy, Chris Lowe, who’s probably too pre-occupied with sorting out that tempo-marking to listen to what Neil’s warbling. It’s then it strikes you that, with ‘Together’ being released to coincide* with their Greatest Hits album, ‘Ultimate’ (still continuing their one-word album titles), is it their farewell to pop?
Just look at the lyrics to the middle eight: “Everything’s easy in this state of mind/The world starts to fade as we leave it behind”. NO DON’T GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT, BOYS! Everything appears to go a bit bleak and “Is this really the last we’ll hear of the boys?” upon that line, if people would care to listen and stop trying to dance in time with the music, because that is something that is also very hard.
But in other news, here are some people who find it very easy to dance in waltz time. Unfortunately, Neil and Chris are sitting this one out, as Neil appears to have bought a dog and Chris is being his usual unsociable self. HOW RUDE. GET UP OFF THAT BENCH AND DANCE.
It’s like Glee for Poland!
Whether or not this is the farewell single for the Pet Shop Boys (I’m personally not too sure, as I haven’t contacted either Chris or Neil to find out, in case they come back with “Well, yes actually”), it’s a fairly decent bit of stompy dance floor pop, and will suffice until the next Pet Shop Boys proper LP endeavour, and if there isn’t going to be one, well, there’s always ‘West End Girls’, isn’t there?
*Not really much of a coincidence.
Rating: 4.0 STARS
Download: November 29, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Ultimate’