'Together' is the new Pet Shop Boys single.
We first heard it at the start of last week and it sounded a bit tremendous but we didn't want to rush into a review. You know how these things are — you hear a song, you think it's some sort of epoch-defining masterpiece, and the next thing you know it's three weeks later and all you're left with is a fairly listenable, three-star-rated moment of alrightness clogging up your iTunes library. (In other words, 'Happy' by Leona Lewis.)
Now the dust has settled, we can confirm that while epoch-defining might be pushing things a little 'Together' actually is — as we initially suspected — really rather good. It's forward-looking rather than retro-sounding tune that feels like a proper 2010 Pet Shop Boys single.
Soundwise it's a bit of a clattering rave banger, sounding a little like Pet Shop Boys produced by Tony Lamezma, the spooky
Xenomania employee who made a good name for himself throwing kitchen sinks at songs like Girls Aloud's 'Biology'. There is a good reason for the Lamezmalike sound, which is that the
single is produced by ex-Xenomania (exnomania?) musician Tim Powell,
who's also responsible for the new Ed Drewett single 'Champagne Lemonade', and was closely acquainted with (ie actually was) Tony Lamezma during his time at Xenomania Towers.
The single is being released to coincide with* the band's new best of album 'Ultimate'. 'Ultimate' is out at the start of next month and it's a 1CD compilation of some of the duo's best bits. It kind of makes sense in a post-Brits Outstanding Achievement, post-Glasto renaissance, pre-Christmas sort of way, and there's a really good bonus DVD on the special edition.
You need to be quite careful when listening to new songs off best of albums because there's always the chance that at some point during the single or album campaign the act will turn around and go "oh actually this is our farewell single, thanks 'The Fans' but we're off now byeeeee".
Would 'Together' be a good farewell single from Pet Shop Boys? No, because we refuse to entertain the idea that there could ever be any such thing as a 'good' Pet Shop Boys farewell single, BUT:
1. It is a stomper. Tragically if you would like to know precise beats-per-minute info we are not much use because we haven't quite been able to get our heads around it all, due to the fact that (fanfare):
2. IT'S GOT A 3/4 BEAT. (Waltz have we done to deserve this etc etc etc.)
3. Finally, and most importantly of all when considering whether or not this would be a good farewell single, the chorus seems to be about a loveular relationship but could also be about the relationship between Neil and Chris: "together's amazing, together we're blazing, together we'll go all the way". The middle eight contains another oh-dear-this-all-sounds-a-bit-final line, in the shape of "everything's easy in this state of mind, the world starts to fade as we leave it behind".
We don't actually think this is a farewell single at all, incidentally. This said, we haven't contacted Neil and Chris to ask them to clarify in case they come back and say 'well actually yes'. It is better not to know about these things until they actually happen.
* Not really a massive concidence to be fair