Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PSB - Elysium & The xx - Coexist (Music Reviews)

First Impression Music Reviews 
Released September 2012
Pet Shop Boys - Elysium B

On this, their eleventh studio album, the boys are still in fine form.  Elysium is allegedly their first album recorded in the US, and the first with Kanye West producer Andrew Dawson.  However, this is not a beat heavy dance album (PSB have been nominated for 5 Grammys in various dance categories).  This one is reminiscent of the duo's 1990 classic, Behavior. It is tranquil, pensive, snappy and as described in one interview- "happy-sad."  

Favorite tracks - A Face Like That, Invisible, Your Early Stuff
 
                                         
Released September 2012
The xx - Coexist C-

This was an impulse buy.  Coexist is the second album by this London trio and it's generating a lot of buzz. I never listened to their much-hyped debut album from 2009, but since then producer/band member Jamie Smith (also known as Jamie xx) has lent his talents to the likes of Adele, Gil Scott-Heron and Drake.  I was intrigued and curious to hear this album because I thought this would be a moody, atmospheric meditation on cohabitation.  Plus, I liked what I heard of them on NPR.  Yet, when I got this one home, tore off the plastic and popped it in my CD player... It was more or less disappoint me from the start.   

I've listen to Coexist about 3 or 4 times now.  It's not as lame as I initially thought, but it's an album that sounds safe, pretty, and boring.  There's probably a couple of cool top 40 singles here, and maybe a pulsating club groove that will sound great under multi-colored strobe lights with a fluorescent colored cocktail in hand.  But, ultimately Coexist is commingling with mediocrity.  Where is Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt when you need them? 

Favorite track - Sunset

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