[midlife 150] #147: pet shop boys “left to my own devices”

February 3, 2010

#147 Left To My Own Devices by Pet Shop Boys (taken from Introspective, 1988)

This song represents the pinnacle of PSB’s many achievements as pioneering practictioners of post-modern pop parables (how’s that for alliteration?). The faux-symphonic/operatic opening, the matter-of-fact roll call of urban ennui, the strangely poignant chorus, all wrapped up in a dancefloor production that has aged incredibly well (22 years!).

It also contains the line “Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat”, a perfect expression of the ideal that serious pop – and, it seems, Neil Tennant (the literary half of the duo) – strives for. In the case of Pet Shop Boys, swap out Che for Balzac and you’re there.

Detail fans should note I’ve chosen the album version of this song over the inferior (but still great) single version.

This review is part of close to 94 ‘s [midlife 150] series, which counts down favourite music 1970-2009.


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