“Off-puttingly bitter” about elder statesmenship

The final word on the new Pet Shop Boys. Douglas Wolk:

As always, the Pet Shop Boys’ latest studio LP has a resonant single-word title. “Elysium” is a reference to Elysian Park, near where they recorded the album in Los Angeles, but it’s also a high-class sort of word for paradise, in the specific sense of the afterworld of the blessed. The implication is that, somewhere in there, Pet Shop Boys slipped into the great beyond, and Neil Tennant is now singing to us from the other side. But Tennant and Chris Lowe’s relationship to pop and its audience has changed over time, and not in a loss-and-beatification way. For Pet Shop Boys’ first decade or so, they were impostors so studious and inspired that they were better than the real thing. Now they’ve settled into being elder statesmen of pop at a time when pop has little use for elder statesmen, and they’re off-puttingly bitter about it.

My review here.

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