Very Introspective, Actually/A Pet Shop Boys Tribute

An interesting tribute collection released in 2001. The Electronic geniuses get worked over by a relatively unknown cast of characters, the outcome is unique and pleasant.

It’s A Sin [The Cruxshadows]—-So far removed from the original, it is almost like a new song. The familiar synth line is there, and as the song progresses it becomes more familiar. A remarkable dispassionate vocal delivers the feeling of coldness and lack of vulnerability. the synth line has the familiar but adds an even colder touch to it and does it with success. A goth styled PSB could work!

Rent [Behind The Scenes]—-Never one of my favorite PSB songs, this cover takes adifferent approach. With an odd reworking of the music, the vocal is just …different!. The bacic element of the song is there, but the vocal is a cross between Richard Butler and Ian Curtis!! Nice but not remarkable.

This Must Be The Place I’ve Waited Years To Leave [Human Drama]—-A lesser known track to the novice, the original version of this song is exquisite and hard to reproduce. This cover does the song a lot of justice. Quiet and haunting, with a nice flute running through the entire song. This is a beautiful re-working of the original and a favorite of mine.

Opportunities [Fictional]—-Keeping the main elements of the song intact, the bass is way heavier and more dance oriented than the original. The vocals are uncany in resemblance and somewhat of a disappointment to me. If you are going to do a cover of a song, do something radical with it. Not bad, but to memorable to be memorable!

Left To My Own Devices [Motormark]—-Now, this is what I mean!!! A female vocal throws off the whole thing from the beginning. A garage/house style beat is so erratic, that the vocal can hardly keep up. This is incredible….you could never dance to this song…it’s about 180 beats per minute if not more. Incredible!!! I love this.

Suburbia [Endanger]—-Darker in sound, but keeping the necessary elements to make it recognizable, the vocal is even deeper than the Human League’s Phillip Oakey. The song has a nice added swagger to it that keeps it fresh….I’ve heard this original about 700 times, but I can listen to this and hear something new.

Love Comes Quickly [Sweep]—-With a prominent keyboard role, the song open up with nice synth and the vocal enters. Odd and slightly distorted, the voice open up into a pleasant tenor voice that is soothing and melancholy. Incredibly adept at reproduction, again, this song adds nothing to the masterful original.

Heart [Maroulis & Zeitmahl]—-This is an incredibly odd reworking of the original. This is almost like……a Vegas/lounge goth act…seriously! The guy croons his way through some heavy strings and orchestrated big band music. Very unique and interesting…and disturbing.

What Have I Done To Deserve This [Rhea’s Obsession]—-A progressive acid house version that features strong female vocals. A nice re-working that is full of energy and atmosphere at the same time. At times the song becomes a little noisy, but the listen is a journey through different sounds and very enjoyable.

New York City Boy [Icon Of Coil]—-Incredibly fresh and bearing very little elements of the element, this is a goth dance classic. I love the deadpan vocal [even more than Neil], the break beat stays constant through the song and the vocal is delivered in an emotionless dirge. Absolutely Fabulous!!!

So Hard [Momus]—-With an odd vocal delivery, the sound is almost easy listening. It brings a smile to my face so I guess that is a good thing. I like how the song keeps some elements of the original but steers it in another direction of it’s own.

Jealousy [Hungry Lucy]—-With the welcome surprise of a female vocal, the song is haunting and sad. The atmosphere is swirling with blue lights and fog as we shoe gaze and contemplate life. Beautifully delivered.

You Know Where You Went Wrong [Cleaner]—-Another of those gems that most casual listeners are not adept to. The song has a nice dance tempo to it that borders on techno trance. The vocals are an odd delivery of evil hoarse ranting. Not a favorite….ohhh…I don’t like this.

West End Girls [Nicole Blackman & John Van Eaton]—-The best known and known the world over PSB song, this reworking takes a radikal departure. Turning the song into some incredibly theatrical delivery, the vocal is female and slow, slow, slow… is odd in delivery and an absolute masterpiece. This is a triumphant….the tone and atmosphere is just what I’ve been craving. Think Portishead3 x’s slower with Siouxsie  providing the vocals.

Being Boring [David J.]—-Sounding even more British, and sounding more like 70’s icon Al Stewart, than Neil does, this song is masterful in tone and delivery. With a nice melancholy tone running under neath the slide guitar, the song catches the vulnerability of the original and makes it fresh. I’ve often wondered what hand the ‘Boys’ had in the making of this release. It would be so appropriate to find out they manufactured all of these bands to sing their songs…something to think about.

**** out of 5


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