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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Actually

Pet Shop Boys

1987

Wikipedia

Actually

Rating

3.18

Votes

3654

Reviews

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4

With their second album, Actually, the Pet Shop Boys perfected their melodic, detached dance-pop. Where most of Please was dominated by the beats, the rhythms on Actually are part of a series of intricate arrangements that create a glamorous but disposable backdrop for Neil Tennant's tales of isolation, boredom, money, and loneliness. Not only are the arrangements more accomplished, but the songs themselves are more striking, incorporating a strong sense of melody, as evidenced by "What Have I Done to Deserve This?," a duet with Dusty Springfield. Tennant's lyrics are clever and direct, chronicling the lives and times of urban, lonely, and bored yuppies of the late '80s. And the fact that dance-pop is considered a disposable medium by most mainstream critics and listeners only increases the reserved emotional undercurrent of Actually, as well as its irony.

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2

The eighties were a mistake

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1

Boy, that really didn't age well, did it? Gross.

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5

PERFECTION

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5

5/5 Synthpop and politics are two things I've never thought of before this album, and to be honest I'm blown away! I had thought of synth pop mainly in the vein of one-off, mildly offensive songs like Mr. Roboto, or classic, yet still one-off, songs like Take Me On. There's a certain level of melancholy in Actually that pairs very well in opposition to the upbeat tone and... poppiness of synth pop as a genre. I found Rent to be particularly effective at this, with its short, cutting lyrics about unequal power dynamics paired with synth beats. The unmistakable critiques of British politics (ye olde Margaret Thatcher) and capitalism of the 1980s are also really interesting. It Couldn't Happen Here could easily be viewed as an analogy to the Sinclair Lewis book It Can't Happen Here, except with Thatcher in the driver's seat. Shopping also criticizes industrial privatization. Then there's also the gay subtext in songs like Its a Sin. The production of this album is very clean and in my opinion, its held up quite well. The lyrics are interesting, the instrumentals are varied (love the trombone/trumpet use) so the album doesn't feel too same-y, and a lot of the songs are quite catchy. This album is both highly accessible for members of the public, but also interesting from an analytical standpoint, and I find that that is a really rare and beautiful thing.

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5

Yes, actually a 5.

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5

one of my fav albums now. amazing

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5

Major game piece! Catchiness and fun, lyrical power and greay overall! Still getting covered by newer artists today

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5

There's a lot of good vibes to this, really love their sound and especially the production. The singing is a little bit so and so, but i really enjoy it. Hit Music is infectious and funky, probably my favorite track off the whole album. 9/10 Best tracks: One More Chance, What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Rent, Hit Music, It's A Sin, Heart. Worst track: Shopping

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5

So good. Owned this. So good so good so good.

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5

One of my favorite bands. Love it.

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5

What Have I Done to Deserve This Album? Love It ❤🌈

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4

Nice, dancey. Very on-par with Depeche Mode without being as dark. Love the Dusty Springfield duet. Favorite tracks: "I Want to Wake Up", "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", "It's a Sin"

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3

No West End Girls? Still, pretty cool. I feel like I’m in a Delorian on my way to pick up some Ludes after a long day of day trading. Seriously though, this has a Pure 80s vibe and is solid all the way through. There are remnants of lot of what the Pet Shop Boys did here.

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2

You cannot convince me this isnt a parody album of Britpop. Heavy Synth sounds and decent music, but the vocals are almost nonsensical. Particularly the Shopping-Rent-Hit Music run in the middle. The fact that Shopping is often used on British Shopping Channels makes it seem like the song was produced for that purpose rather than the song coming first.

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2

What Have I Done to Deserve This?

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2

This is very Eighties, but not in a good way for me. Shoutout to "I love you, you pay my rent" as a lyric though.

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2

Kinda shit

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2

It's a sin indeed. 10 seconds in I already felt the urge to turn it off. Came out of it with only two half-decent songs, salvaging a second star.

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5

Nice

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5

— В Pet Shop Boys музыкальная сила и мудрость... — Вы любите Pet Shop Boys? — (подергивая плечами) Да-а — А какие альбомы предпочитаете? — (Протягивая руку) Да обычны... ну вот, пожалуйста, Actually. Нормальный альбом. Пацанский, хули. Слушать можно. — Похвалите ещё Pet Shop Boys. — (С заминкой) Ну как его похвалить... ну заебись альбом. Пиздатый альбом! Как его ещё похвалить бля... (небольшая усмешка, перерастающая в полноценный смешок) — А ещё пара красивых слов? — (Показывает большой палец) Не-въе-бен-ный альбом! — Спасибо. — (безразлично) Да на здоровье. (Ставит альбом на повтор) Вот оно — музыкальное золото!

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5

Loved it

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5

Five classic pop-singles + five very strong other tracks - clearly one of the best albums of the 80s.

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5

80'er for fuld skrue. Alle de rigtige lyde, Juno's, Gated Snare, det HELE!

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5

What Have I Done to Deserve This? (with Dusty Springfield), Rent, It's a Sin, Heart. Se merecen un 5.

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5

El pop fet art. Un altre dels grans discos que van fer bons els vuitanta, amb una sensibilitat artística (i lletrística) que molt pocs artistes han demostrat, tota ella al servei d’unes cançons inoblidables, tan fossin grans èxits del moment (‘It’s a Sin’, ‘What Have I Done…’, ‘Rent’, ‘Heart’…) com temes més amagats però igualment portentosos (‘It Couldn’Happen Here’, ‘I Want to Wake Up’, ‘One More Chance’)

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5

A nice 80s pop-rock album, very atmospheric.

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5

Прекрасно

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5

This is a masterpiece of electronic pop/dance music. The undertone here is often melancholic, but even then with a hauting, yet melodious vibe. Still, there is variation between songs - listening through this gem never gets boring. We can find some well-known PSB songs from the 80s here (It's a Sin, What Have I Done to Deserve This?, Rent, Heart), but the lesser known songs are good as well, including two especially beautiful ballads (King's Cross/It couldn't happen here). This album is a classic. 5/5

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5

Practically perfect synth pop. "It's A Sin" alone is worth price of admission, but everything else is so blissful and bouncy. Bravo!

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5

Knocking off a star because of Morrissey

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5

"What Have I Done to Deserve This?" is a pop masterpiece. Overall, the synths were immaculate, and this is the peak of '80s dance-pop. What a catchy, poignant and ridiculously calming (for the soul) record. Except "Shopping". That was not the greatest thing.

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5

I’m a big fan of Pet Shop Boys so this one was really fun. A great album with a lot to choose from!

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5

It's my guilty secret that I can't help but like PSBs and this is my favourite. I bought it at the time and even went to see them in the 90's (with my girlfriend as cover). All 10 songs are of the highest quality- production, beat and style. The lyrics conjure up a glamourous and often sordid 80's highlife. It's unashamed and catchy.

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5

Yay, more Pet Shop Boys! And this one has my two favorite songs by them (Heart and It's A Sin; Rent is really good too though). I gave this one two spins and enjoyed the first couple of tracks a lot more on the second go than the first. To be honest, this might be more of a 4 star album than a 5 star album... but Heart!

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5

Flawless. By far their most consistent album, passing the acid test that listening to the album tracks without the singles shows no drop in quality.

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4

Actually waited until Wednesday to listen to this. Was only familiar with Pet Shop Boys through West Side Girls and Always on My Mind. This is a really good 80's pop record. Favorites include What Have I Done to Deserve This?, Shopping, It's a Sin, Heart and King's Cross.

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4

8/10 FT: Rent

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4

Classic synth-pop album, full of hits. It couldn't happen here and the last two are great, plus the Dusty track, and It's A Sin one of the best synth tracks of the 80's.

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4

It was okay!

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4

Great hooks!

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4

James Murphy got it honest.

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4

i listen to half of this, I enjoyed it but it lost my attention mid way through, i dont think that was the albums fault though

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4

I like this album a lot more than i expected to. A lot of fun. Would reccomend especially to anyone enjoying the 80s vibes of 2020 pop

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4

An album I wish I would have listened to more in the 80s.

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4

Este disco me pareció interesante porque yo hubiera pensado más en Depeche Mode como representante para este estilo de música (rock-pop electrónico ochentero), pero creo entender por qué propusieron este disco: por las letras. Es interesante cómo van de temas tan "vanales" como en Hit Music hasta temas tan filosóficos como "It's a Sin".

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4

Great 80s Electronica

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4

I was raised on Pet Shop Boys, so this album is nothing new to me. I used to hate being woken up with this blasting at 9am on a Sunday, but listening this willingly is much more enjoyable.

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4

Fun 80's album, easy listen with a chill vibe

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4

Pop clásico fácil de consumir muy bien producido. Canciones cuidadas y muy bien manejadas. La sorpresa viene con las letras. Algunas son simples y sin mucha profundidad, otras son más reveladoras y cínicas, o de crítica como Shopping. Gran descubrimiento, lo disfruté montones. Songs: It's a sin, Rent, Heart

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4

Bra album med riktiga klassiker :)

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4

Didn’t expect to, but really got a kick out of this album! The beats were great, I found myself moving along to it in the kitchen - and the jabs at the privatization of the UK and Thatcherism were like a little cherry on top. Enjoyed meaning behind a genre often focused on partying - at least from what I know as a mostly outsider to electronic and dance.

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4

Never really considered myself to be a huge fan of The Pet Shop Boys, but really enjoyed listening to this album.

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4

Nice

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4

Great - very of its time, and evocative. Will listen again!

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4

Been a Pet Shop Boys greatest hits guy for years, first time I can remember listening to an album in full. Great stuff which got us dancing post dinner, and It’s a Sin is a full on classique

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4

Ennakkoasenne oli, että tämä olisi nyhjöttävää homorummutusta, mutta olikin paljon menevämpää ja mukaansa tempaavampaa, ainakin levyn eka puolisko. Ekat viisi biisiä sai jalan hytkymään rytmissä, mutta sitten tuli vähän sellainen suvantovaihe, loppua kohden vähän tasaantui. Alun perusteella mietin jo että pitääkö antaa vitonen, mutta loppuarvosanaksi ansaittu nelkkukelkku.

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4

They don’t make pop music like this anymore. Top stuff. One More Chance is a great opener

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4

There was some recent Spackers discussion as to whether any 1980s electro bands were more than singles bands. The answer is emphatically yes. The answer is Pet Shop Boys.

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4

I had the album before this one, and loved it. By the time this one came around I was a little bit over the band. There are a couple of excellent tracks here, namely It's A Sin and Heart, but also a lot of filler. No matter the quality though, it's a surefire nostalgia machine transporting me straight back to 87.

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4

Oh the memories! Love it

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4

I feel like in 2010 + we have so many bands like that ! Obviously there is a huge gap in terms of production technology but some songs for me sounds so much like so many bands that got huge "recently". I do feel like they are an influence for the VST bands. Sounds upbeat but not just "happy", I like the sound choices and production a lot. I like the vibe and will give 4 stars !

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4

Pet Shop Boys - an easy four for me - smart pop - great lyrics, Chris Lowe is a legend and it contains four genuine classic tracks - Rent, Heart , It’s A Sin and What have I done to deserve this . Real snapshot of 80s Britain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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4

Stone cold electo pop classic👌🙌

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4

Actually really good

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4

Some great tunes. "It's a Sin" and "What have done to deserve this" which I had already heard were particularly good surprise track "I want to wake up" my fave.

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4

the other pet shop boys album has the better, well known songs!

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4

Really enjoyed this. Only heard 'It's a sin' before which is bonafide hit record. The opening 2 tracks are great and set the tone for the rest of the album. Unfortunately, the quality could not be maintained and there are some simple lyrics. Lots of references to money which I didn't understand.

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4

The first half sets out its postmodern aspirations particularly in shopping, rent and hit music, where the joke is on the listener. The second half moves into more sincere territory with the powerful 'it's a sin', the atmospheric 'it couldn't happen here' (Co written by ennio morricone), and perhaps my favourite track on first listen: 'I want to take up'. 'Kings cross' is a noice evocative finishing track. Brilliant album and one I will revisit.

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4

Very 80s synth similar to New Order of the same era. Great pop. Always liked Kings Cross, shopping and the singles.

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4

Favourite Song: Rent

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4

Всегда путал этих бойзов, Бисти, Пэт Шоп, ещё там Бич какой-нить будет. Ну, без "The" в начале, и на том спасибо, собсна. И вообще из всех бойзов мой фаворит "Бойчик" в исполнении Френдзоны. Так, чё там по альбому. Крякалка во вступительном треке маленько отвратила от него вовсе. Но всё же на репите гонял и таки разглядел в нём годноту. В Rent, Hit Music, It's A Sin, Heart и разглядывать не надо, хорошо на ухо ложатся, можно напевать. Да и в целом более ничего одиозного не встречается. Да, инструментал порой слишком минималистичный. Но доминантой служат вокальные партии, которые вполне годные. В общем, по итогу пропёрся, мб даже возвращусь когда.

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4

Neat 80s synth pop album. "It's A Sin" is a bop.

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4

Iconic

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4

New Age Neo-Gay. Toit. 4 porque no hay 3.5

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4

Favorites: 1) Heart 2) It's a Sin 3) One More Chance

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4

yeah its good

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4

Pretty much, but male vocals are not really my thing here, at least. "The Sin" was a nice piece though

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4

Never taken the time to listen to this album until now. glad i did

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4

Great 80s synth-pop, and, yeah at some points the sound is cringingly 80s synth-pop.

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4

the queer struggle told through catchy saccharine bops that you'd probably hear while at an outlet store. Wonderful stuff!

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4

I guess I am really into English synth-pop. Who knew!!

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4

Nice one. Loved the sounds. Very nice easy pop. 4,5 stars

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4

Muy buenos sintetizadores. Una banda de culto, un muy buen disco

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4

Definitely an album from the 80s. I wasn't liking it at first, but then the album grew on me. 4.1/5 stars

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4

some bangers on here

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4

One More Chance - lol reminds me of that Friends episode where Ross shows them his keyboard playing and he just has random sounds put together... This one is definitely "interesting..." Rent - this one was kind of weird - why is the lyrics "i love you, you pay my rent" lol The rest was okay

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4

I bought this CD the week that Annie and I got married. I brought it with us when we stayed up north that weekend. We laughed at the song "Rent." It was at a time when I was first (re)opening my mind to this era of music. Listening back I love it more than ever. I'm impressed with the perfection of sound. And all the programming that takes. Vocals are good too.

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4

Catchy electronic pop that still holds up

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4

Banger banger vabegr vamber vanggr banger

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4

Used to listen to my dads tapes of Pet Shop Boys as a youth. This was a fun album. It’s A Sin in particular is a BOP!

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4

The PetShop Boys, Actually is a quintessential 80s album. With songs including "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" and "Rent" have the iconic sound of pop synths and dramatic electro-drum beats. Best: What Have I Done to Deserve This?; Shopping Worst: It Couldn't Happen Here

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4

i love this album, always have, i love Neil's voice and almost spoken word style. I love how catchy the songs are. Always a pleasure to listen to the pet shop boys

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4

Great album, lots of good memories

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4

fremragende album

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4

Did not realize It's a Sin was on there, their sound is pretty good.

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4

A nice album!

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4

A 3-star album that gets a fourth star for the trip back to my senior year in high school. Just like the album, that year was hit or miss, but overall pretty damn good.

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4

Very cool album! Fresh!

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4

"It's a sin" is a true banger :)

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4

7/10. Solid songs, a bit samey as an album for how long it is. Nothing revolutionary.

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4

Surprisingly excellent. High quality throughout and some absolute tunes

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4

stadium pop, laced with melancholy

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4

Really fun and catchy 80s synthpop. I need to get more Pet Shop Boys on wax.

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4

some tunes were a bit weak, but the better ones stay in your head for days 3.7

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4

Fun and poppy album. Feel good type music.

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4

Absolutely stellar 80's pop. Not every song deserves to be 5 minutes long, but other than that this is perfection. Favorite Tracks: "One More Chance", "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", "Shopping", "Hit Music", "It Couldn't Happen Here", "It's a Sin", "I Want to Wake Up"

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4

Sounds very 70s early new wave. Enjoyed it... didn't love it.

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4

It's tempting to label Pet Shop Boys as a singles band, and if you want to listen to them that way, it's fine, of course. "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", "Rent", and "It's a Sin" are among the best songs of the decade, but you'd be missing something of what the band offers if you stick just to the hits. They have an excellent knack for building a nocturnal, urban atmosphere across an album. Just gotta add: Dusty Springfield steals my heart every time.

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4

nice

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4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: One more chance, It’s a sin, I want to wake up

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4

4.1 - Another solid "slice-of-life" British record done in the vein of dance-pop with strong political and social commentary. There are also plenty of nods to "the gay experience." "Shopping" describes British power brokering to the highest bidder, no matter the trade-offs. "What Have I Done..." and "Rent" describe sugar daddy romantic arrangements. "It's A Sin" describes homophobia and not adhering to social mores.

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4

A Thatcherite critique you can dance to.

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4

Holy cow, this is TOO GOOD for a synthpop album! What a fun gem!

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4

This is my third Pet Shop Boys album through the project, and while I scored the other two of them three stars, I think I'm bumping this one to four. Partly their sound has grown on me, I suppose, and partly "It's A Sin" is an absolutely fantastic tune. My favourite PSB track from any of their albums....

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4

Cool album

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4

Kinda like this album, honestly... Big Zoolander vibes.

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3

Fun album reminiscent of New Order that gets kind of borring and repetitive later on.

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3

Svängigt och chill på samma gång

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3

Sounds like the 80s, not my favorite.

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3

Rent was stuck in my head for hours after listening to this album. I enjoyed the commentary + dance music combo in some songs, but I found myself drifting out of the album a lot. Maybe its because I don’t know much about music but some of it sounded sort of generic? Not sure. I think some of the songs could’ve been shorter.

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3

"Shopping" was pretty great, as was "Rent" and a few other notable tracks, but was just a little too tame and samey to venture into 4th star territory for me. Enjoyable, but I don't know if I'll listen again.

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3

Levy jota vaivaa Pet Shop Boys -syndrooma. Hittibiisit ovat täyttä timanttia, kun taas täytebiisejä ei jaksa ollenkaan. En ole ikinä oikein jaksanut kuunnella bändin levyjä omina kokonaisuuksinaan, vaan yleensä soittimeen päätyy jonkinlainen kokoelmalevy. Kyllä tätä silti oikein mielellään kuuntelee.

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3

Conocía un par de rolas de éste disco y es bastante ameno, no cabe duda de que son unos pioneros y genios del electro-pop y me gusta que sean un grupo que siempre va a la vanguardia. Echenle un ojo a lo que hacen como productores y se van a llevar varias sorpresas

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3

I don't have anything additional to add about the Pet Shop Boys.

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3

A time capsule of 80s synth sounds

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3

I enjoyed this. Very 80s but in a good way.

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3

Favorite song: Rent

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3

A eso suenan los 80s. No cabe duda que están junto con Madonna, New Order o Soft Cell como sonido característico de lo que era dance pop y synth pop. A lo fresco y alegre de la música agregan también un cantar monótono, sin inflexiones, casi vacío que suena... plástico; perfecto para la representación de un disco que habla de yuppies desengañados que viven sin importarles nada y buscando solo su beneficio. Pop que refleja los 80s pero que tiene letras con algo que decir. En realidad no le doy más calificación por dos cosas; una es que el disco musicalmente aunque bueno tuvo varias canciones que sentí demasiado similares (mismas cuerdas en el fondo, mismos efectos, mismos ritmos) y dos, que de manera personal no es el tipo de música que me llama a escuchar una y otra vez. Buen disco.

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3

I’m hovering between a three and a four here, but I remember really liking this new wave sounds, especially songs like shopping

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3

Unique sound... reminds me a little of Cake on some songs

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3

There are definitely songs I can vibe with on this album, but overall it’s very ok. Also, for being the Pet Shop Boy, there were more female vocal parts than I expected. Favorite Track(s): “One More Chance” and “It’s A Sin”

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3

Love a good Pet Shop Boys single. This album is very enjoyable, although the tracks really run together. PSB are better 1 or 2 songs at a time, and not all in a row like this.

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3

Psb es electro pop y talento, pero esa presentación no es la buena

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3

Interesting listen

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3

Classic 80s music. Not bad. 6/10.

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3

fun album. Some of the songs are pretty cheesy. I imagine that is partly due to the synth-heavy production. Some aged really well, some not so much. "it couldn't happen here" does not hold up at all.

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3

Actually good songs and production 👌🏽

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3

All I really want is a montage of me trying on different outfits with all my best friends shaking their heads while "Shopping" blares in the background! I have been diving into New Order ever since we listened to that Joy Division album, and I must say that brand of 80s new wave type stuff is much more interesting, but Pet Shop Boys is way more fun! I really enjoyed the catchiness of these tracks and the fact that they had something to say as well. I don't mind pop if there's substance. It did get way overly 80s for me though with some of those big bright synths and splashy drums, so I for sure tuned out at some of those 80s cheese moments. Not enough bangers on here to cut through the filler.

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3

It's a Sin is the obvious standout - some other decent ones but a bit thin for me.

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3

Better than expected, but not as good as Please

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3

I liked the 80s vibes. "It's A Sin" is a real standout track but I liked a few of the other tracks too. 7/10

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3

6.25

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3

Decent 80's Synth Pop

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3

Catchy! I do not know much Pet Shop Boys but I can get down with most of what they're doing here. Fun synth lines, dance beats, and lyrics make for a fun album, and I can't hate that. Unfortunately, some of the sampling here sucks and takes away from the overall product. Otherwise solid stuff.

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3

Pet Shop Men.

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3

Solid!

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3

I ‘actually’ enjoyed this, the lyrics are a bit odd at times but I like their sound.

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3

One excellent song (Rent) surrounded by a couple of good songs and much fluff. PSB's compilation album is the better choice.

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3

A hilarious start to the album with the bongo sounds to kick it off. What Have I Done To Deserve This is a fantastic pop tune, I liked hearing Dusty pop in with backing vocals and her own sections are great too. It's A Sin is my favourite off of the album and the driving backbeat is infectious. I'd like to comment more but I'm a bit behind. Enjoyed this generally, especially the singles. Solid 3/5.

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3

80's throwback album.

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3

what a weird album to listen to 35 years after its release. it has most of PSBs biggest hits and they all stand up pretty well despite being done in the cheesiest era for pop music. Thats probably because you've heard them a million times and the stabby synths aren't as jarring. the rest of the album is terrible dated stuff from that era. I can't imagine the synth crazy sounds of the late 80s/early 90s ever come back round.

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3

Ennio Morricone has a writing credit on this album... Mind. Blown. Best track: It's A Sin

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3

It's okay. Kind of forgettable.

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3

Few tracks pretty good, but the remaining tracks are weak.

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3

Nostalgic

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3

I didn’t hate it like I thought I would! :)

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3

Not exactly my kinda thing, but well crafted and executed. Good melodies.

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3

Not a big fan

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3

A extremely synth heavy new wave pop album. It's pretty impressive what this duo can get out of building pop songs around synths and while I very much respect a lot of the craft to this album (and it is very well crafted), it's not my cup of tea at all. Impressive production, well-crafted pop songs, but again done in a style that doesn't stir much of anything in me.

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3

This album was fine. Nothing exceptional to me. I do like synth pop but I don’t feel like there was a standout great song on this album… the base quality was better than average, though, so 3 stars.

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3

Eeeeh

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3

Everything I would imagine 80’s dance-pop to sound like. Some really groovy songs and great sounding synth. A few of the songs stuck and others didn’t, but overall an album I’d throw into some playlists. “Heart” kept reminding me of music from Mario 64.

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3

I can appreciate this record's energetic and playful melodies, it's subtle dance-pop vibes, synth-riffs, and overall creative choices. Highlights are the amazingly catchy "What Have I Done", the funny and sarcastic "Shopping", "I Want to Wake Up", and the extremely tight instrumentals on "Heart". However, I find myself not enjoying the more melancholic, dreamy and slow tracks. Examples being "One More Chance", "Rent" and "It Couldn't Happen Here". Due to my lukewarm feelings about the record, though some enthusiasm is deserved, a 3/5 is fair.

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3

Gick in med låga förväntningar pga 80-tal och synthpop och Pet Shop Boys. Förväntningarna blev både mötta och krossade. Bra spår som One More Chance, King's Cross och till viss del What Have I Done to Deserve This? möter skräp som Shopping och Heart. Shopping är inte dålig i sig, MEN fan LÄGG AV med att bokstavera det STÖR MIG Visst, It's a Sin är ok, men överskattad. Bästa låt: One More Chance, mest för refrängen. Det bästa med det svåra 80-talet komprimerat i en kvällsvibbande dansdänga.

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3

A bit dated for me

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3

42. As ruas estão vazias. É uma pena. Saí mais cedo para cá estar. MotA: What Have I Done to Deserve This? "The city is quiet, too cold to walk alone / Strangers in overcoats hurry on home"

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3

Second Pet Shop Boys album! I know a lot of this already, and the hits are bangers. What I've discovered from listening to two of their albums is that a collection of the best PSB songs would be an easy five. But they haven't done that with a complete album yet. Still good, just not classic level.

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3

From a technical point of view, the way they were able to start a song with a theme that gave no hint of the main theme will also go down in history. (6/10) Favourite Tracks: It's a Sin, What Have I Done To Deserve This, "Always on my Mind"

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3

It's a sin is brill, everything else made me yawn

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3

First time listening to a whole PSB album. It was ok.

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3

Pretty fun, especially the first few songs and the hit (It’s a sin). Plenty of weird stuff on here as well. Is Shopping code for something?

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3

Some good songs, some ok songs

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3

It was definitely an 80s album. I was not familiar with any of the songs. I am not going seek this album out again, but it is not a bad album.

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3

I enjoyed it initially, but to be honest, it did drag on quite a bit. The beats were very interesting and I'm sure this sounded very groundbreaking at the time, but the synth hasn't aged as well. The lyrics were interesting and clearly shaped by Thatcherism.

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3

took me a minute but I got it

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3

Pretty catchy.

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3

3.5

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3

the album is decent, with somewhat simple lyrics here and there

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3

It´s not actually that bad

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3

I loved a couple songs on the album. I Want to Wake Up was a real stand-out. Overall the synths and 80s production got in the way for me, but not as much as I was expecting.

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3

// Favs: – Score: Strong 2 to Light 3

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3

Pretty good synth/dance/80s/pop album. Especially of note the hit with Dusty Springfield...What Have I Done to Deserve This. Not sure what more I can add. If this is your style of music you won<t go wrong. 3 stars

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3

80’er synth pop, god rytme, lidt ensformigt

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3

A couple of big tunes on here. More enjoyable than I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting much.

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3

Classic synth pop. Not really my bag but they are very good at it.

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3

pr good but no crazy standouts for me

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3

Unexpectedly enjoyable. Some cool synth chords and a few stand out tracks ('it couldn't happen here').

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3

Well this is the *second* Pet Shop Boys album in the first 150 albums. ....? really? By the end of this exercise in about 3 years I'm going to be upset that they have (at least!?!?) 2 more albums on this list than most of my favourite bands but ok it's NOT ABOUT ME...sigh... (where was I?) Right. Pet Shop Boys. I scorned new-wavey-all-synth music in the 80s but now I quite enjoy it. To a point. Without looking back at my first review of the PSBs it probably goes something like this... it's nice. And this is nice! Nothing too memorable, though - it plays like a very pleasant sounding 80s soundtrack and is *fantastic* for background/working music. Nothing particularly negative outside of the fact that no individual songs are all that memorable. I can't remember anything in particular after finishing and looking at the song titles. Which...so why is this album on the list? Not that it's bad - it's nice! I've said that! But... It's a solid 3, would never argue against listening to this but not sure if I'd be in an overt mood: "PUT ON ACTUALLY!" In fact... the album cover is a brilliant slideshow of my reactions while first seeing this album then again sometime around song 7. In fact this would be nice to fall asleep to... [creates sleep playlist...] 5/10 3 stars.

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3

i actually thought it was fun and interesting to listen to. nothing super outgoing but i would listen to again

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3

Inoffensive stuff from the Pet Shop Boys, but nothing really catchy.

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3

A strange lyrical obsession about paying the bills and rent - and generally quite a non-memorable album except for a couple of classics. It’s a container for it’s a sin and heart and kings cross I guess - the rest are fillers

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3

The majority of the album feels like 80s electronic dance club music, although the final song, King's Cross, stands apart from the rest of the album. The electronic music is tolerable, but feels a little corny to me. King's Cross is a more serious song, and stylistically much more like the "serious songs" that respected rockers like Phil Collins or Don Henley produced during that era.

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3

I don’t really care for this kind of music but it had some catchy songs 5/10

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3

Well produced synth pop

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3

Enjoyable for the 80s!

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3

Lo mejor esta en los singles. Parece que los Pet shop boys son un grupp para escuchar en compilados o recopilaciones porque todo un disco tiene pocas sorpresas.

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3

Now I know who the Pet Shop Boys are.

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3

Classique new wave, mais pas le meilleur album du genre

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3

Equal parts containing all the now-embarrassing elements of 1980s pop, and endearing nostalgic feelings of a simpler time. Studio mixing in a cave, heavy synthesizer effects and drum loops, the existential crisis one feels knowing that this is either highly processed or borne from a single electronically manipulated keyboard with sounds. The 80s were the pinnacle of music-making embracing the clean shortcuts of computerized compositions. This album hits all of those notes with the type of precision that electronic sound manipulation is designed to do, and to its discredit, it does it too well, for where music has evolved since the beginning, the 80s felt like more of a fad than it did an evolution. The 90s felt like a snapping out of that. It is difficult with such bias against the 80s, to take this album with any sense of meaningful seriousness. Instead, rather than being a gift, hindsight is a burden when listening to this. The music sounds easy and one-dimensional in spite of all the layers, and perhaps there is a way to narrow one's perspective to respect this for what it was in the time it was made, yet one can only be grateful that we have moved on. Three stars for historically endearing significance, for feeling irrelevant and serving as a reminder of when things were weird and embarrassing.

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3

I guess I’m a Pet Shop Boys fan now.

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3

Very much of its time.

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3

Preciso escutar novamente, mas gostei da sonoridade.

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3

Actually, its pretty good. A ver, me ha dado ligeramente igual pero me gusta el sonido y lo disfruté mientras estaba en la bibliotek. ¿como es que Its a Sin estaba ya en mi cerebro sin saberlo?

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3

Suuuuper 80s synth pop. Perhaps not the best from the “Boys”. Still it’s decent. Features a ton of meaty and danceable synth grooves even if the subject matters are shallow.

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3

3.3 - Nice new wave listen - enjoyed Shopping and the Cat Steven’s apeing on It’s a Sin.

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3

Pretty slow. Nothing really jumped out.

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3

-In this house, we criticize consumerism when we sing the song 'Shopping" -"Shopping," "Hit Music," "It's a Sin," and "heart" were all catchy enough. Most of the rest of the album was pleasant but nothing really stood out, didn't get too intense

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3

The last Pet Shop Boys album I drew, “Behaviour”, marked Pet Shop Boys’ move into more introspective, “cerebral” music. It did very little for me, so I was intrigued to hear their earlier, peppier side. On paper, 80s electronica and dance with a touch of campy theatrics and offbeat vocal stylings should be something I’d really enjoy, but “Actually” still hasn’t quite clicked for me. From the off, it’s at least a more upbeat and enjoyable record than “Behaviour”- the opener “One More Chance” is percussion-driven for the first couple of minutes until the keyboards snake in layer-by-layer, culminating in a borderline symphonic refrain. “What Have I Done To Deserve This” has an unexpected turn from Dusty Springfield, who does a sterling job and adds some variations to Neil Tennant’s fairly by-the-numbers vocals (some songs build towards a euphoric melodic chorus, then crash and burn with his deadpan spoken refrains). A Pet Shop Boys hosted-album with a roster of guest vocalists could have been an interesting idea. But it didn’t happen, and we get this. The highlights aside (the two openers, “Hit Music” and of course, “It’s a Sin”), the album begins to feel weighed down by all the mechanical electronics. It comes across a little cold without wit, bite or quirks. And the ballads (“It Couldn’t Happen Here”, “Rent” ) are downright dirges. Still, I think it has capacity to grow on me and I wouldn’t bludgeon anyone for putting it on- just didn’t feel like an instant classic. Yet.

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3

Very 80s, very British, very Pop.

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3

Good at what they do. Synth isn’t my favorite but easy to listen to and their voices are nice. Very listenable, especially for the background.

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3

I like. Lekker energiek.

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3

Best leuk, maar wel ontzettend eighties

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3

Gezellig

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3

I don't often care for this style, and it has to be something really special to catch my notice. This did that, at least. Playing with expectations a bit in song structure. Their subjects are a little more interesting than "it feels good to dance," or "I got dumped and it's no fun." (There's a place for those too, but I need more from disco I guess.) It's a Sin is a banger, but one great track doesn't make a whole album in this game.

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3

Started out really strong, but I got less enthusiastic as it labored on. I think small doses of Pet Shop Boys works best for me. First couple songs: great. “It Couldn’t Happen Here”… well ultimately I wish that one couldn’t, and hadn’t.

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3

Is this song really "we're s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g, we're shopping"? Because it's adorable. Not my new favorite band or anything, but it's fun.

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3

Not whiny, hurray!

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3

Sort fan, sort just there. Nothing special to me. C

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3

The Pet Shop Boys always know which chords I like. This one not so much though. 3

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3

It’s ok. A little too much 80’s synth and drum machine for me. Too dance music-y.

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2

Some bangers, like It's a sin and the one with Dusty Springfield (<3). That aside, it's not their best work.

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2

I like the 80s synth poppy feel of it, sometimes weird percussion breaks and vocal interludes take up too much time, the synth is almost overwhelming sometimes too. But I liked it alright! not earth-shattering

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2

I found the meaning of the songs like shopping to be quite good but overall i found the album boring and their musical inability shone through for me. These guys are an example of people who sound ok on tape but shit live.

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2

njae, gillar inte den här 80-90-tals synthen alltså

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2

I only liked the track with dusty Springfield

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2

Pop with lightly rebellious experimental sounds and lyrics. I'm sure it was a bop back then.

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2

Not for me

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2

80’s human music. Pretty okay

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2

Interesting theme to the album. Does this really need to be on this list?

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2

Always on my mind is good but the rest I’m not a fan of. 2.3

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2

Echt jetzt? Oje… Viele der Songs habe ich noch von damals™️ im Ohr, stelle aber fest, dass sie gealtert sind wie Milch. Ich habe oft vorgespult, ohne zu befürchten, was zu verpassen. Womit alles gesagt wäre. 2 Sterne, aber nur vong Nostalgie her.

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2

Decent old pop. I don’t love the sound, but it’s well done.

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2

Kind of fun, but mostly like the Talking Heads without the soul.

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2

Pop. Aburrido. Sintético.

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2

Is this a song about shopping? Ok then. How 80s. Let's go to the mall! Oh now a song about a sugar daddy. Live your best life Pet Shop Boys. Overall, eh? It feels pretty repetitive. Probably not adding it to my rotation.

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2

The feeling of this album battle a school yuppy. A bit weird and pretentious, but I will give an extra star for being much better than the last Pet Shop Boys album

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2

I guess a couple of the tracks are fairly iconic, but flimsy synth pop is not for me

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2

During the first track I was thinking “better than expected”, but shortly after that I sort of forgot it was even on - garden-party background music when you want to be at the bar. These guys were popular with some good friends of mine in college - Artsy girls with angular haircuts - so that gives this album a nice nostalgic vibe. Then The Boys slip into their orchestral effort “It Couldn’t happen Here”. It did. I wish it wouldn’t have. 2.5 stars. Rounding down.

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2

Never liked Pet Shop Boys, and nothing about this album has changed my mind.

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2

I listened to the whole thing in one go wanting to see the light and be converted to the church of the Pet Shop Boys. It was ok. Nothing grabbed me at all. Just felt really 80s synth pop. The song about going shopping. What’s that about? It’s a Sin is a banger though.

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2

Very 80s sounding. 0RS

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2

Couldn't care less. Where's his big hat at? A pair of crunchy truncheons.

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2

meh, ok pop

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2

Not my cup of tea, but I get why people would be stoked over this album.

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2

Like wtf was that beat any kinda wack

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2

This album felt extremely 80s to me. The production was slick, big synths and punchy drums. I had a lot of lyrics jump out at me but that and the production was the only things I appreciated. I bet this album was revered back in the day but the synthy dance pop doesn't do a whole lot for me. Standout track was I Want to Wake Up. 3/10

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2

Very 80s for sure, i liked it overall bc it made me feel like i was in vice city even if it wasn't necessarily my taste, production was on point, i love the sound of reverse gated-reverb drums of the 80s, slower songs Def dragged on a bit Standouts: shopping (baseline chefs kiss), king's cross

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2

Really not a fan of the Pet Shop Boys. Like at all.

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2

Nothing surprising, kind of what expected

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2

As an electronic artifact of a time 60 years ago, this album retains interest as an historical document and as a bridge for the continuity of the folk tradition.

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2

Escutei até o hit It's a sin

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2

Sonido muy personal. Pop electrónico. Mucho sintetizador

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2

They've got a pretty unique sound which is cool to hear. Most of the songs on this album are pretty bland though. "It's A Sin" is a cool song though. "Shopping" is just stupid.

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2

British, 80s, Pop + - Male, electro = Old, boring, NFM {0/10}

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2

The second album from the Pet Shop Boys is another 80's pop / synth-pop album. It was good imo and described by critics at releases as a 'pop album with something to say'. This album had 4 songs become top 10 singles in the UK and they are still semi-popular today. Get lost in the 80's nostalgia!

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2

Bit bland... Was surprised

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2

As a child in the 1980's I always thought this keyboard pop kind of music was really corny, embarrassing even. I've always preferred music played on acoustic instruments. This era of synthesizers and drum machines is just so vapid. I'd been meaning to listen to this group for years. Glad to have finally heard their music, but I'll never be listening to them again.

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2

Lyssnade bara halva albumet. Övergav efter det. Lite väl 80-tal för min smak

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2

Electropop album. Has the classic '80s production feel. Doesn't seem very memorable.

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2

Pop con sintetizadores de los Pet Shop Boys. Se me ha hecho bola.

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2

very 80s synth.

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2

Pet Shop Boys is electro-synth-pop music for unhappy people right? The ones with forced smiles at their own weddings. And this is genuinely unoffensive catchy unhappy music. Where's the joy?

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2

Absolutely shit

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2

I'm assuming the front cover is Neil Tennant listening to this album.

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2

I remember them from the 80s when they were on the airwaves and MTV quite a bit. I didn't pay them much attention then as most synth-pop bored me, so I gave this a new listen. Still bored. I don't blame them -- I think they are good at it -- but I just don't find synth-pop overall to be very interesting.

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2

It's a sin tais olla joku miljoona viikkoa listaykkönen Suomessa aikoinaan. Ihan mageesti se edelleen soi mutta muu levy oli aika tylsää shitiä.

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2

One or two good tunes but very lightweight.

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2

Only reason it got 2 stars was for “It’s a Sin”. The yawning on the cover is an accurate depiction of the album overall.

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2

Just not my thing.

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2

Pretty solid

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2

First thing that comes to mind is Jon Cryer and Molly Ringwald . Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles kind of music. Very nostalgic. Unfortunately nostalgic doesn't always equate into good. Most of things I was wearing in the eighties I can happily say stayed in the eighties. Most of the album sounds pretty mundane for the eighties sound. Synthesized crap that aged as well as the saxophone solo did. What I have Done To Deserve This? was the only memorable song on the album and left me asking the same question at the end of the listen. What did I do to deserve this?

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2

A complete a total meh… except than “it’s a sin” song, that one is dope

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2

Not the most interesting thing in Eighties

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2

Oh dear, more dance music. I really don't like dance music in general and the Pet Shop Boys in particular.

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2

Het heeft wel iets, die 80's sound. Maar het gaat me op een gegeven moment toch ook wel tegenstaan.

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2

Helemaal gedraaid, maar het kon me niet echt bekoren.

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2

Eh. I hated that shopping song.

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2

A bit too 80’s cheesy for me..

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2

Nothing was actually bad, but it felt like it could have been summed up by a single 3 minute montage in an 80s movie

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2

Meh, lives up to what I thought it was. 80s synth.

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1

Fattigt album där allt utom en låt flyter ihop till en dålig brittisk popsmörja som inte gör ens humör några tjänster. "S H O P P I N G shopping" är inte heller textrader som berör eller underhåller. Hade det inte varit för "Its a sin" som jag gärna hyllar som en bra låt hade repet varit nära.

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1

Boring 80s electric pop

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¿Eres tú, Ross Geller? Defintivamente la musiquita de sintetizadores y la voz que usan de plano no son lo mío. Entiendo que en su momento fueron innovadores con algo de lo que trajeron, pero ni siquiera fueron los primeros. Me siento como el de la portada.

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1

1, couldn't listen to it.

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1

Awful

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1

Sucks

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1

urgh, i despise this. the sound, the style, the sentiment

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1

cazz è sta roba? non mi pento di non averli mai approfonditi prima. Se cantassero in giapponese grandi sigle anime anni '80.

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1

Nee. Niet voor mij.

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1

I tried to get it, I even gave an earlier (though not memorable) pet shop boys album 3 stars. But after hearing another of their albums, I don’t get it. It’s very simple, very generic 80s techno pop that hasn’t aged well. I don’t really understand why this band is so successful, I guess I have to hear more to get it, which I really don’t want to at this point. Virtually nothing musically interesting on this album

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1

I got through the first song, reminded me of some elements of early NIN. Complete garbage!

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1

not my style. at all.

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1

no

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1

Meni jotenki oudosti ohi, mut en palannut. Tota ihan tarpeeks jo kuultu

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1

super 80s

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1

This was made and sounds exactly like it was made in 1987. Nothing stood out for me other than how strange it was at times.

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1

Woof I hated this

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1

This was SO hard to get through. 'Actually' was a dated snooze-fest that barely held my interest throughout what felt like a terribly long listen (although this isn't long at all compared to some of the albums I have received so far on this list). To sum up my feelings on this one, all you need to do is look at the album cover as the yawning was a perfect representation of how I felt going through this album. I was just constantly unimpressed by anything on here. None of the instrumentals stood out to me as it just seemed like generic 80's synth-pop throughout with no catchy hooks. I also did not enjoy the singer's voice at all; while he has a unique tone, I found it pretty irritating and noticed that he sang every type of song the exact same way. The combination between annoying vocals and boring music ended up making this feel like a parody of everything it was trying to be which is about the worst thing I can say about an album from this genre. This is not an album that I can recommend anyone check out, and I am not sure how it can deserve a spot on this list at all. 'Actually' is the weakest album I have listened to so far. 1.5/5. NOTE: I went to check this one off of my list and saw that there are 3(!) Pet Shop Boys albums on this list. How?!?!?

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1

Definitely not me, even if it was background.

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1

awful

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1

Makes me want to go shopping

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owned it back in the day

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Sounds like boring 80s music :P

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