Elysium - Pet Shop Boys
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eleventh studio album for the British electronic duo was produced with Andrew Dawson.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The understated beats suit their elysian equanimity.
  2. Sep 6, 2012
    With a record as good as it is, it's difficult to believe that both they and pop music aren't alive and well.
  3. If Elysium has a weakness, it is the absolute absence of thumping disco-pop monsters. Once you accept that, and surrender to the tranquil beauty of Chris Lowe's synth textures, you quickly realise that Neil Tennant is on top lyrical form.
  4. Sep 6, 2012
    Quarter-hearted anthems such as Winner fail to recapture the desperate glamour and delicate optimism of their best work, making Elysium the definition of a mixed bag. [Oct 2012, p.104]
  5. Sep 19, 2012
    [There] are only the few standouts on an album otherwise comprised of facile dance tunes with overwritten lyrics.
  6. Sep 10, 2012
    Just another solid Pet Shop Boys album.
  7. 40
    Elysium is bookended by two of the best songs the Pet Shop Boys have written in years, but flags badly in between.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Dec 8, 2012
    Brilliant CD that really get better and better with listening more. I love all the singles with Memory of the futre a standout. all tracks are fantastic and this group just gets better and better.
    I am in New Zealand and saw them in concert in 2007. I like their sense of humour and that they do not take rthemselves too seriously. another amazing CD to listen to forever.
  2. Sep 12, 2012
    This is one of The PSB's most beautiful cds. very melodic, thought there are a few up beat songs. I am their biggest fan, and this cd does not let me down me in the least! A must have! Expand
  3. Sep 17, 2012
    A mix of 'Alternative', 'Release' and 'Behaviour' - Elysium delivers on almost all songs (may need to listen 3-5 times before appreciation kicks in), but it's solid!....I could do without 'anthem-type' songs like 'Winner' and 'Hold On', but those two songs - in my opinion - are the only close-fails, but it being Pet Shop Boys, I'm certain I will, in due time, learn to appreciate these two songs as most of their songs grow on you...My grade: A- (92/100).... Expand
  4. MnM
    Sep 22, 2012
    A sublime release and a very strong representation of their storied catalog. Songs range from laid-back funk to pure pop and few of the entries go astray. Their relevance over several decades is a testament to their unequaled talent. Expand
  5. Feb 3, 2013
    The Elysium album seems to appeal to at least two different audiences and is more or less split right in the middle of the record. Being av fan of great melodies I bored myself through most of the first half of the songs. But then it lights up bringing Pet Shop Boys back to their grandeur of the early nineties.

    Leaving is a rather disappointing start and second single of the album. It is a gloomy easy listening piece that is nice enough, but does not leave a lasting impression. If you think the opening song is uninteresting, then Invisible, the second song, will really test your patience. It is slow, monotonous and leaving a dark, dull feeling.But there are lots of treasures coming if you like more melodious songs.

    Winner on the other hand, is the first sign of a great album. It is the first single from the album and is an anthem worthy of the Olympics that it was timely released to. It is upbeat and catchy and Pet Shop Boys in their right element.

    The boys still want to pain us with their gloomy feelings. Your Early Stuff though having the sound of their early stuff, lacks the fun melodies and strong chords from their early work. And they don´t take the critique from the taxi drivers well. A Face Like That holding the album back is a unchallenging song with yet another dark and uninteresting melody. This time though they have at least included the drum machines and made an interesting beat. Now finally the album picks up. Breathing Space continues the record´s generally slow pace, but has one of the nicest melodies. Both the verse and chorus is strong. A really uplifting tune and one of the gems of the album. Ego Music is the strangest song on the record. It is some of their most experimental work. It may not create a huge new audience for them, but could spark some new interest in the duo. It does actually sounds Sparks, the L.A. duo. Hold On is based on Händels ode for Queen Anne´s birtday Eternal Source Of Light Divine. This is the most powerful and beautiful song on record emphasizing that Pet Shop Boys are at their best when adapting and enriching other composers works. I follows the legacies of You were always on my mind, Go west and Somewhere. This song should also get the Pet Shop Boys to change their mind about a jukebox musical. This is yet another obvious strong musical tune.

    Give It a Go is another not typical PBS-tune. But compared to Ego Music this could actually mean a difference. It has a analogue felling contiuing the sound from the drum machine free Release record. If you did not like it, this time they have definitely struck a chord and Give It a Go really sticks in your mind.

    Memory Of The Future is perhaps the most classic PSB song on the album with a gloomy verse that is follow by a catchy buildup to a really beautiful chorus. It is a joy to listen to.

    Everything Means Something is another dark, slow song on the record, but the powerful chorus makes the dull verse worth getting through.

    Requiem in Denim and Leapardskin has a decadent sound matching the lyrics. It is one of the more melodious songs on the record, but is not a strong requiem. So this cannot be the last chance for goodby with the boys.
  6. Feb 23, 2014
    So yes, there are plenty of times where The Pet Shop Boys have softened their sound and lowered their tempo, (Release, Behavior) and have in the cases of Behavior, succeeded spectacularly. Unfortunately for Elysium, the songs are seldom as impressive and there's generally less an amount of interest here to draw you in for the full duration of the album. You'll have to look hard to find something as good as Actually or Behavior. Expand
  7. Nov 19, 2012
    Onother piece of crap by Pet Shop Boys. What happened to this guys. People shoud know when to stop. All songs sound the same, lack of melody... I couldn't listen all album because it was so bad... We Want the real Pet Shop Boys back... Expand