Right then. So you've sent in your questions about the new Pet Shop Boys single 'Love Etc' and we've done our best to answer most of them.
Here you go.
Q: Is the new single more rock or electronic?
Q: Does Neil do any rapping?
A: The bit in the middle eight comes closest, but it's with a softer, more singy sort of tone than something like 'Left To My Own Devices'.
Q: Is it better than "Minimal"?
Q: Are the lyrics about boredom or being bored with love?
Q: Has it got Disco Potential?
Q: Any idea if 'My Girl' is the B‑Side?
Q: Does the song lend itself to more 'Very'-era dressing up shenanigans?
A: No more or less than any of the 'Very'-era singles did.
Q: Are there lots of good rhymes for 'etc.'?
A: No. The word 'etc' doesn't actually appear in the lyrics. :(
Q: I have noted that '3:34' is actually quite a rare good song length, with '3:33' and '3:35' bringing up at least double the amount of songs in iTunes. However, included in my '3:34' catalogue are 'Back Seat Driver' by Kim Wilde and "Teardrops" by Lovestation. Both of these are equal to or greater than 'very good'. My question is: "Is the new Pet Shop Boys track equal to or greater than (KW) x (L), if we factor in the power of Kim's pre-Nicola miserable expression and Lovestation's cheap but floor-friendly cover?"
Q: Does it contain sirens/fog horns/air horns or the like?
Q: Is it structured more like the traditional 'Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Middle Eight/Chorus/Big Finish' or more like a Xenomania-style 'First Chorus/Verse/Bridge/First Chorus/Second Chorus/Bridge/Verse/Surprise!/Second Chorus/Fade Out on Bridge'?
A: It goes like this: intro / "you need more" chanting / verse which sounds suspiciously like a bridge / chorus / "you need more" chanting plus post-chorus chorus bit / sort of instrumental break portion / "too much of everything is never enough" segment / beat drops out for second verse or bridge or whatever it is / chorus / "you need more" plus post-chorus thing / middle eight / Chorus to fade / fin.
Q: Do the lyrics tell a story?
Not really, they're more of a 'Love Comes Quickly' / 'Before' / 'You've Got To Start Somewhere'-style instance of Neil doing his benefit-of-experience 'thing'. So it's written from the outside going "hello, I am Neil Tennant, this is what I have discovered in my life and perhaps you would do well to listen to my top tips on love etc if you are interested in a kiss and a cuddle".
Q: Do you think it will sell well outside their core fanbase?
A: Combined with the Brits performance it could do. It's the most Radio One-friendly track they've done in a while.
Q: Does it feature an orchestra?
Q: Can you dance to it?
Q: Is it camp?
Q: Does it have pathos, drama or euphoria?
Q: Does it contain witty observational lyrics?
Q: Does it have an underlying sadness?
A: No, unless you count the implicit sadness that people are materialistic in their view of love etc.
Q: Will the fans like it?
A: Let's be honest, the fans will always find something to moan about.
Q: Will the masses like it?
Q: I heard a rumour that it sounds like the White Stripes doing PSB. Please say it’s not so.
A: It's not so.
Q: When will it recieve it's first radio play?
A: Don't know.
Q: Which of the Pet Shops Boys previous material does it sound closest to?
A: 'Flamboyant' and 'DJ Culture' and 'Go West', but it doesn't really sound like any of those.
Q: Is "don't have to be beautiful but it helps" a lyric from the song?
A: Yes. The chorus is a call and response session (a bit like the verses of 'Go West') with lots of "don't have to be!", "don't have to drive!" bits (they're more 'musical theatre group at a football match' than 'male voice choir') being completed by Neil. The first half of the chorus goes "don't have to be a big bucks hollywood star, don't have to drive a supercar to get far, don't have to live a life of power and wealth, don't have to be beautiful but it helps", and then it swings around again with a different set of instances including having a house in Beverly Hills, having a daddy paying the bills and so on. The payoff is that "you need more than a big blank cheque to be my lover oh, a gulf stream jet to fly you door to door, somewhere chic on another shore — you need more, you need love".
Q: Do you know any info about the new album apart from the release date and that Love Etc.. is on it?
A: It will probably be reasonably listenable.
Q: Is it better than ‘Flamboyant’?
A: The general opinion will probably say yes, although we like 'Flamboyant' more than most people so what do we know.
Q: Does it have Johnny Marr on guitar?
A: Don't know.
Q: What do you think about the commercial possibilities of this new single (Love, etc)?, could it be a massive hit?, a real classic like: West End Girls, Suburbia or It's A S0in?
A: No, but only because it doesn't really sound like it's trying to do what those songs did.
Q: Do you think this song is better than any other song from the previous album Fundamental?.
Q: Do you think many young people could give a chance to Pet Shop Boys with this new song?
Q: Is this song an electronic ‘stomper’, fours to the floor beats and power chords?
Q: VOCÊS JÁ TIVERAM O PRIVILÉGIO DE OUVIREM O NOVO SINGLE?
Q: Does it have Patsy Kensit on backing vocals?
Q: Is it good in a so 'So Hard' way, or good in a 'Fundamental' way…?
A: Neither, really.
Q: How many BPM has the song?
Q: Does 'different' in your description mean it's got lots of guitars?
Q: How would you describe its style? Is it fast, slow, or somewhere in-between? Is it a dance track, a ballad, a rock song, hip-hop, techno, swing — what?
A: It's somewhere in between. Perhaps it is an electroswing pop record. It will fit in quite well alongside the Christina/Katy 'New Wave Of 2004' revival.
Q: Exactly how many seconds intro before the vocals?
A: Fifteen seconds before Neil's first proper vocal.
Q: Fade or End?
Q: Any backing vocals?
A: Not underneath Neil's vocals, but there's the stuff in the chorus mentioned above plus some "you need more you need more" chanting.
Q: Whats the most classic Neil Tennant line in it?
A: "It's tough getting on in the world when the sun doesn't shine and a boy needs a girl."
Q: Radio 1 playlist possibility?
Q: Radio 2 Playlist possibilty?
Q: Radio 3 Playlist possibility?
Q: Any sign of a Chris vocal?
A: No, but perhaps in the chorus rabble.
Q: In a scale of Pet Shop Boys Videos, from the garish bright primary = colours of Go West to the miserable black & white rat infestedness of = Home and dry, how colourful would the video be (remember, the answer = must be a title of an existing video, not a colour or a shade).
'Red Letter Day'.
Q: Which 2008 X factor contestant would sing it on PSB week?
Diana Vickers. From previous years, The Unconventionals.
Q: Will it end the credit crunch?
Q: Are there any vocal sounds on it which are not actually words, or at = least english words?
Q: Bearing in mind you've only heard the single and not the full album = what track position do you think it would end up on the album?
Q: If the song was a face, whose face would it be?
Q: Just how exciting is this?
Q: It's their best song since.…
Q: We´re talking about an electronic piece of music? or synthpop, just pure 'pop', or something different?
It's dark, slightly blippy pitchbendy electronic pop with synths in it. No donks have been put on this record.
Q: I'd like to know what is the main theme of the song?
If you wanna be my lover, you've got to get with my general mindset (and preferably be fit).
Q: Could it have been on the album: ‘Very’?
Q: Or which album would it be better suited for?
Q: Any homo references?
Yes (see "it's tough getting on in the world when the sun doesn't shine and a boy needs a girl" line).
Q: It doesn't have that annoying Vocoder thing they sometimes do, does it?
One thing we would like to add to all of the above is that it's a very unexpected sort of song and the first time you hear it you probably won't know what to make of what you're hearing. Despite a big and very clear chorus it's the first Pet Shop Boys single in ages that takes a few listens before it clicks but, in classic Xenomania fashion, when you do get your ahead around it the whole thing sounds totally sensible. We're very excited about the album…