PSB2: Pet Shop Boys rate, 1993-2004. Winner, rate facts, part 3 discussion | Page 40 | The Popjustice Forum

PSB2: Pet Shop Boys rate, 1993-2004. Winner, rate facts, part 3 discussion

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Ray, Feb 18, 2018.


What's your favourite part of this rate?

  1. Very

    17 vote(s)
  2. Relentless

    0 vote(s)
  3. Bilingual

    9 vote(s)
  4. Nightlife

    5 vote(s)
  5. Release

    4 vote(s)
  6. Disco 3

    1 vote(s)
  7. Extras (a- and b-sides)

    1 vote(s)
  1. Ray


    Yup. 0 would be perfect replica of the averages, which is of course impossible. 1 is scaled to Nathan. And then the larger the number, the further the person is from the averages. (By the way, I hate Excel.)

    The opposite for me. I like most of the elements (except "it is not easy, but don't give up now" and then the most unnecessary appearance by Chris ever "don't give up"). OK, and except the bloody Russian obsession. (Said the person with Iceland obsession...)

    If I understand the question correctly, here are averages:

    Max = 7.8939393939 (@Jóga)
    @Vive Indifference = 6.6363636364
    @Ray = 6.8888888889
    Min = 4.3282828283 (@ohnoitisnathan, not too shockingly)

    And total average of all scores: 6.4732459732 – which, as per song average, we reach between #50 and #49. Out of 99 songs. Perfection.
    Future Lover likes this.
  2. Ray


    Nightlife, as far as I am concerned, had four potential singles:
    'For your own good'
    'Closer to heaven (demo)'

    – at this exact order. 'Drunk' makes a great last single. 'For your own good' BANGS. 'I don't know what you want' is a magically great album track. 'New York City boy' is an abomination that shouldn't have ever existed. And 'Crappiness'... well.
    Sweet Music likes this.
  3. Yup, that was the info I was after, thanks Ray ...

    Jóga was +1.42
    I was +0.16
    You were +0.41
    ohnoitsnathan was -2.15

    And I thought I was a low scorer ... turns out, overall, notsomuch ...
    Ray likes this.
  4. I had forgotten about Oli P.'s abysmal releases: the basic musical concept of this and the PSB track is shockingly similar.
    The main reasons I don't like this are Sylvia's atrocious ad-libs (I'm generally allergic to this kind of vocal 'contributions') and Neil's embarrassing pseudo-rapping, both especially horrifying during the second verse. And the music does nothing for me. At least the verses of 'Metamorphosis' are much better because of the energetic music and Neil's rapping. The only bit of 'Happiness is an option' I like is the melody of the "don't give up now" bit sung by Neil (enough to give it 3 points). I wish they had barred Sylvia from the studio and let him sing the chorus alone.

    The way Neil delivers the lines like the Russians wondering why/we're born under a blue sky with special emphasis on the rhyming words is utterly cringeworthy.

    I actually prefer Sandhya's vocals to Sylvia's.
    Ray and westendgirl like this.
  5. Although I would also have Footsteps and IDK as singles
  6. I think they are both slightly above average PSB songs, so I gave them 6 points each (twice as many as 'Happiness is an option').
  7. Apart from the addition of 'For your own good' I agree with your choices here. I love the actual lead single so much that almost everything else on the album is such a disappointment in comparison.
    JakeMagnus and westendgirl like this.
  8. When I was listening to Nightlife again this morning (before the reveal) I happened to think exactly the same thing when this song came up.
    Though it was probably more like "It is not eaziiieeeah to listen to Sylvia..." ( I'm not a fan of her in general, anyway, but here her vocals are just so annoyingly obtrusive).
    Glad this is gone.

    That's right, thanks for pointing this out @Farnaby - the harp is really nice.
    slurmjunkie likes this.
  9. Am I the only one who doesn’t like Radiophonic at all? I don’t mind the lyrics but that’s about it!
  10. I'm with you. It's not terrible - it's just sort of...there. Nightlife is a very weird era.
    Jóga likes this.
  11. I scored Radiophonic second lowest on that album, so no, you are not alone ... The verses just don’t connect with the backing track or chorus so it just sounds like they shoehorned an actual song into it just so it could be on the album ... If it had been a bit more like Samurai In Autumn it would have worked much better ...
    Jóga likes this.
  12. Radiophonic sounds MASSIVE! I´m usually not a big fan of trancey-dancey and PSBs dance-tracks often suffer from a cluttered production that warrants the fate that no respectable DJ would actually ever play them.

    But -and I think I said this in the comments- Radiophonic has this kind of rushing euophoria that I would LOVE to hear at the very moment I walk into an amazing Disco. The chorus has this kind of quality that could cause you an out-of-body-expoerience when you´re on E. (or so I heard).
    etienne, Ray, Jóga and 3 others like this.
  13. It's a shame that we can't rate the Further Listening tracks as I believe this is one of the highlights of that era.
  14. I’m sure Ray will indulge us with a FL rate at some point ...
  15. Radiophonic is all kinds of brilliance. The bit in the middle where it takes off into outer space always gets me even after a million listens. It’s a complete PSB pop thrill. It’s ‘lit’ as the kids say.
  16. Ray


    If after the 4th part (Collaborations) in 2022 anybody wants to participate... Sure!
  17. Answer The Phone gets my 11.
    slurmjunkie and WhipperSnapper like this.
  18. Ray



    POOR Nightlife.

    Like, literally poor.

    Bit dull

    verses are gorgeous

    I wasted another five minutes of my life.

    81. Boy Strange
    Average: 5.5728571429
    Highest score: 9 (@westendgirl, @WhipperSnapper, @slurmjunkie, @Filler, @Sally_Harper)
    Lowest score: 1 (@2dividedby0)

    Neil: Basically a rock track, really. Written on acoustic guitar. It's kind of sinister, I think.
    Chris: It's a song of three thirds.
    Neil: Yes, it's like a suite, really, in a way. There's a track called 'Playing in the streets' which Chris wrote in the studio because he had two friends coming round for drinks and he wanted to impress them by being able to write something indie rock.
    Ray: Always the best way to create a Pet Shop Boys classic.
    Neil: Then we attached it at the beginning of the original demo of 'Boy Strange'. Rollo didn't like it – he thought it didn't fit the mood, and that was it – but nonetheless that's why 'Boy Strange' begins with a long introduction. Rollo effectively replaced the original introduction, though he used the same chords, and slowed it all down. In my recollection this track was very much Rollo's project – his pianist played, and his guitarist. And there's real percussion.
    Ray: *facepalm*
    Neil: The song is about an unsuitable boyfriend.​

    'Boy Strange' showcases really well – with its all three parts – why Nightlife doesn't work as an album at all. Consider the sequencing: 'Boy Strange' (Bowie-esque indie rock boredom) -> 'In denial' (a song that makes no sense at all lyrically outside the context of musical) -> 'New York City boy' (cringefest). If 'Boy Strange' has anything to do with the concept of nightlife that is apparently present throughout the album, I fail to see what that something is.

    What I really like is the odd tone Neil's voice takes in the verses. I don't think Neil sounds like this on any other PSB (i.e. Rollo feat. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe Impressing His Friends With His Indie Rock Skillz) record. It's like Neil has found a whole new breathy register for this one song. It's not a bad song per se. It has nothing to do with Pet Shop Boys, with Nightlife, with Closer To Heaven, or anything at all that I can think of other than being a Rollo solo record with Neil doing guest vocals.

    @OspreyQueen: I remember liking this one a lot when I first heard it a few years ago, and I have no idea why? Boring song with frankly bizarre lyrics.

    @One Stop Candy Shop: The album takes a strange turn here. It's just so weirdly put together and never really gets going. The part with the beats at the end is alright I guess. [*nodding at all this* – Ray]

    @JakeMagnus: Song like this used to be b-sides. Don't know why this has to be on the album. Would also fit better on Release. [True. This is not a compliment for either, though. – Ray]

    @TrendyMüller: Is this an attempt at writing a Bowie song? [Definitely sounds like one – Ray]

    @WhipperSnapper: I’ve always found this to be one of their most heartbreaking songs and I’m not entirely sure why. [Me too, but not in the way you mean, I think. – Ray]

    @mrdonut: You can definitely hear the Bowie influence but normally at this point in the album I just want to skip to HRH Kylie singing about Muscle Marys. [SO. MUCH. PRAISE. FOR BOY STRANGE. – Ray]

    @Jóga: I just don't listen to it, but I can't really find a severe fault in it.

    @ohnoitisnathan: Boring.

    @Carsten: Bit dull.

    @MidnightCity: Mid album slump eh? Does this have to be over 5 minutes? [Well, all 9578 parts of it need to be accommodated... – Ray]

    @Sally_Harper: The verses are gorgeous in a vaguely R.E.M. sort of way. The “chorus” is not. That said, I REALLY like it when the production ramps up for the last one and it all gets a bit sinister. And I’m always on board for a piano finish!

    And my rate husband sums it up perfectly:

    @DominoDancing: Nothing in this song makes sense. The production can't decide which way to go, musically and melodically it goes nowhere and in the end I wasted another five minutes of my life.

    An actual nice song with similar title:

    @Eric Generic bait:

    Hey, it was a strange elimination, OK?

    I wonder if Nightlife will lose any more tracks tomorrow? Will it be zero? two? only one?

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  19. Unsurprisingly I'm not sad to see this go...
    Can't wait for the reveal how far I've deviated from the far everything's been fine...
  20. THIS. SO MUCH. Seriously, Neil's voice never sounded... errrr, stronger? Too bad it was never replicated. Did he have a cold or something?
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