Pet Shop Boys: Concrete

November 17, 2006

Pet Shop Boys ConcreteOne might ask, “Why on earth would Pet Shop Boys release a live album? It’s all sequenced and sampled anyway.” The answer would be “Because they recorded with the BBC orchestra.” And then the response might be, “Oh, cool. Like and un-plugged thing?” And the answer would be, “No… not really… Just the orchestral parts they have on tape [or hard disk one would assume these days ] live are played by a live orchestra.” So then the obvious next volley in the banter would be, “Well, what’s the point then?” And then you’d have to say, “Yeah, I dunno. Robbie Williams sings on one song and stuff.” At which point your argument really breaks down.

The only illuminating tracks are “It’s a Sin” and “West End Girls” which were not originally recorded with an orchestra.  Otherwise the arrangements are verbatim those of the studio recordings only with weaker vocals and a live drummer. Though, I suppose if you replaced all the sequencing and synth parts with live musicians Chris Lowe would have nothing to do but sit there looking grumpy [as opposed to pressing keys looking grumpy]. It was probably a pretty interesting concert experience, but translates as a somewhat lackluster concert-album experience. Perhaps would have been better as a DVD release.


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