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Release: Further Listening 2001-2004

Release: Further Listening 2001-2004

by Pet Shop Boys

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Overview

The Pet Shop Boys have never made a bad album, but with Nightlife, they started to seem a little worn out, as if they had explored their sound as far as it would go. But Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are among the smartest, pop-savvy groups to ever record, so they not only realized they were stagnating, they knew what to do about it, bringing Tennant's Electronic partner and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr for several songs, and moving the group toward careful, considered, mature pop for their eighth album, Release (another pun-worth title, worthy of Please). For most artists, the adjective "mature" would seem an epithet, but here it's an accurate description for this elegant, eloquent, knowing music -- it's maturation achieved through experience and worldliness, not an exorbitant bank account. On that level, this is about the most mature pop album released this decade, exhibiting a refined sense of craft and a keen sense of purpose, marrying the particular sentiment of a song with the right production. It's hard to call Release an album of its time, since it hardly falls prey to trends, but it's aware of its time -- an album that's proudly out of step with the particulars of hipness, but knows what they constitute, knows what they feel like, knows what modernism means for somebody who's lived their life with the burden of being hip, whose always felt a compulsion to stay on top of things -- and feeling that desire fade as you get older. So, that means that while Release occasionally sings of the new -- synth lines, vocoders, beats, a song designed to respond to Eminem's homophobia (the exquisite "The Night I Fell in Love") -- it's from the vantage of people who have lived through all of this before, and know particulars will pass while the song remains the same. The great thing is, even if this sentiment has been present in previous Pet Shop Boys albums, they have brought the dance-club to the background (partially due to Marr's presence) and have brought the songs to the forefront, resulting in a record that feels like the Pet Shop Boys, even when it doesn't sound like them. And that's a good thing, since it retains their greatest attributes while giving them a new spin, and it makes for the best Pet Shop Boys album in nearly ten years. [The three-disc set Release: Further Listening 2001-2004 was issued in 2017; in addition to the original Release tracks remastered on disc one, the set included two bonus discs featuring previously unreleased tracks, alternate mixes, demos, and more.]

Product Details

Release Date: 07/28/2017
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0190295921149
catalogNumber: 557340
Rank: 58661

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pet Shop Boys   Primary Artist
John Rutter   Conductor
Pete Gleadall   Vocals
Jody Linscott   Percussion
Chris Lowe   Keyboards,Group Member
Johnny Marr   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Richard Niles   Conductor
Neil Tennant   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Stuart Crichton   Keyboards
Mark Refoy   Guitar
Steve Walters   Bass,Bass Guitar
Chris Zippel   Guitar,Keyboards
Christian Hayes   Guitar
Little Mike   Bass,Guitar

Technical Credits

Pet Shop Boys   Producer,Remixing
Anne Dudley   Orchestration
Pete Gleadall   Programming,Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Bob Kraushaar   Engineer
Chris Lowe   Composer,drum programming
Richard Niles   String Arrangements
Gilbert O'Sullivan   Composer
Bobby Orlando   Composer
Dan Stein   Composer
Neil Tennant   Composer
Diane Warren   Composer
Leon Ware   Composer
Adam F   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Stuart Crichton   Producer,Additional Production
Pennie Smith   Cover Photo
Chris Zippel   Programming,Producer
Stargate   Producer
Dave Lambert   Composer
Arthur Ross   Composer
Guy Worth   Engineer
My Robot Friend   Composer
Chris Heath   Introduction,Interviewer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Composer
Hermansen   Composer
Miti Adhikin   Producer
Dan Forbes   Cover Photo

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