July 23, 2012

The sound of winning?

Here is the new Pet Shop Boys video for what I think is one of their all time worst singles, the trite Winner. I know, blasphemy, but I just couldn't care less about the song. This album launch reminds me a lot of Madonna's MDNA project, where you felt she was shoe-horning a poor track in as a single because it thematically tied into the cross-promotional opportunities of a sporting event. I think the greater truth of the music business now is that a weak lead single can actually kill an album campaign. I should add that I do not blame the production - I just think the song has a bland melody, repetitive chorus and cliched lyrics. It's not the clever take we expect from Neil and Chris.

On a happier note, I hope, here are details of the Winner single package, out August 6. Note that it includes a song called The Way Through The Woods, which I presume is the track earlier misidentified as their next single, Down In The Woods. Anyway, this is from their website:

The track-listing for the first digital bundle and the CD:

1. Winner
2. A Certain "Je Ne Se Quoi"
3. The Way Through The Woods (long version)
4. I Started A Joke

A Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi' was originally written and recorded in 2007 and recently reworked by Chris and Neil. The Way Through The Woods was recorded in Los Angeles during the Elysium sessions but Neil and Chris did more work on it subsequently, creating a much longer version. It is a setting of a poem by Rudyard Kipling and, like Winner, features an orchestral arrangement by Joachim Horsley, Andrew Dawson and Ben Leathers. I Started A Joke is a cover of a Bee Gees song from the 60s and is intended as a tribute to the late Robin Gibb. All three bonus tracks have been mixed by Bob Kraushaar. A second digital bundle will contain remixes of Winner, including mixes by John Dahlback and Niki And The Dove.

Update! The single samples are now available on Amazon and both I Started A Joke and A Certain.. sound great, with the Woods song being unclear since it's just an instrumental snippet.

Update #2 BAD NEWS. I had hoped to buy the single on 7 Digital UK, but they are no longer allowing US IPs. Grrr. I think it will be available on US iTunes around Aug 5.


Daniel said...

Niki & the Dove! YES!

Anonymous said...

Their worst song EVER.
And what seems to be an ugly video in which they probably don't even appear is apprently region locked...
it's not available in my country (japan)

I was so sure my dear PSB would never disappoint me.
I lose, but does that means they win ?

xolondon said...

You are correct anon, they are not in the video. It's an odd one too. I am surprised EMI went with it.

Michael said...

Looking forward to hearing the Dahlb├Ąck mix.

V said...

I must have really been hungry for anything new by PSB because initially I did like this song and still do. Haven't skipped over it whenever I'm in shuffle mode.

Looking forward to the album.

xolondon said...

Yay Varant! We'll see what the album brings. My understanding is that it's quite lowkey - not much in the way way of dance songs- and that there are some really new sounds for them.

SHayne L. said...

Xo, I have a couple of questions for you:

1) What do you think of Invisible?

2) What, in your opinion, are PSB's five absolutely worst singles?

xolondon said...

Hi Shayne.. Truthfully, I think Invisible sounds like a meh album cut. But I have not heard it in HQ yet, so that could change.

Worst singles, in no order: Winner, New York City Boy, I'm With Stupid, DJ Culture, and Together. (esp NYC and Winner)

Michael said...

Aww, I love New York City Boy.

Anonymous said...

Worst singles: I Get Along (like Winner-level DREADFUL), Together, I'm with Stupid, Winner.

Invisible is actually low-key but stately and spare. I don't mind a non-dance album (with remixes on the singles) but give it some bite PSB.

Michael said...

I think I'd agree with I Get Along being their worst single.

Provato said...

xonolondon couldn't agree more with you. Winner is really bad (I like the video though and its message), and invisible is "so so" - still the other tracks from Winner single are quite good.

Plus in the last issue of Literally which I just got they compare Elysium with Behavior which is my all time favorite PSB album. So I hope for the best!

(worst singles: winner, before, stupid, nyc boy, and "how can
you expect...")

here is a link for you