Pet Shop Boys - Christmas

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2009-12-14

"Bing Crosby, are you listening to me?" sings Neil Tennant, in that detached whine of his, the one which has improbably, but deservedly, helped Pet Shop Boys ascend to national treasure status. It'd be lovely to proclaim the opening 'It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas', a re-recording of a 1997 fan-only single, as perfect and slightly perverse pop in the classic PSB mode. But actually, it's just a pleasant house tune with some seasonal trimmings and unconvincing 'bah humbug' lyrics from Neil.

But never mind, because their cover of Madness' 'My Girl' is much better. Apparently using the creepy incidental music from Twin Peaks as its base (and thankfully wresting it from Moby's monkey-man paws), it manages to be both a heartfelt cover and a squelchy reworking of the original. There's also an 'Our House Remix' for those of you still living in the nineties.

Elsewhere, 'All Over the World' is another new version of an old PSB track, this time from their last album, Yes, and sees at their imperial, mildly ironic best. And there's a medley of Coldplay's 'Viva La Viva' and PSB's classic 'Domino Dancing', which manages to turn Chris Martin's weepy warblings into camp Euro dance gold.

Richard Morris

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