Elysium (Pet Shop Boys album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PSB Elysium.jpg
Studio album by
Released5 September 2012 (2012-09-05)
StudioCapitol Studios, SoundEQ Studios
(Hollywood, California)
Live Drum Tracks Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Record One
(Sherman Oaks, California)
ProducerAndrew Dawson, Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Singles from Elysium
  1. "Winner"
    Released: 3 July 2012
  2. "Leaving"
    Released: 12 October 2012
  3. "Memory of the Future"
    Released: 31 December 2012

Elysium (/iˈlɪziəm/) is the eleventh studio album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. Released on 5 September 2012, it is the duo's final album with Parlophone. The album was produced during 2012 in Los Angeles by Andrew Dawson and Pet Shop Boys.

Background and release[edit]

"When we were trying to think the title I kept saying if we were George Michael we'd call this album Deep, because he tends to give things a direct title. And it is deep in terms of the sound—got a lot of sub-bass—it's sort of deep in terms of subject matter, the way it's expressed. But I think it's the Pet Shop Boys' most beautiful album."

Neil Tennant on the album's perspective.[1]

Pet Shop Boys began writing the songs for the album during a period of five weeks in Berlin, Germany in the beginning of 2011. Most of the album was written during the Progress Live concert tour with Take That from May to July 2011. In January 2012, Pet Shop Boys went to Los Angeles to work with American producer Andrew Dawson for three months. The duo were interested in working with Dawson after seeing his name in the credits for the Kanye West albums 808s & Heartbreak (2008) and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010).[1] Chris Lowe has described Elysium as having the same feel as Behaviour (1990), but "sonically I think it's very different." Pet Shop Boys considered Happy Sad as title of the album, but came up with the title Elysium during a walk in Elysian Park in Los Angeles. Lyrically the album can be interpreted as "about being us at our stage in our life, doing what we do", according to Neil Tennant.[1]

Elysium was released in Japan on 5 September 2012, followed by Germany and most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand on 7 September; the UK, France, South America saw the release on 10 September and the United States and Canada received it on 11 September. There are two CD formats: a single CD and a special double-CD edition which includes instrumentals of each song. A double-vinyl album was released in limited quantities which also includes the instrumental versions.[2]


The artwork was designed by Mark Farrow.[2]


A teaser video was released in June 2012 for the track "Invisible". The short film was made by Brian Bress and the song features backing vocals by singer-songwriter James Fauntleroy II and veteran singers Oren, Maxine and Julie Waters.[3] The album's first official single is "Winner", which was released digitally on 3 July 2012,[4] and subsequently in August 2012 as a four-track CD and digital EP.[5][6] The "Winner" EP includes the non-album tracks "A Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi'", "The Way Through the Woods" and a cover version of Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke".[6] A second digital EP of "Winner" containing remixes by Andrew Dawson, John Dahlbäck and Niki & The Dove was released a week later.[6]

The second single, "Leaving", was released on 12 October 2012,[7] containing the non-album tracks "Hell" and "In His Imagination", a 2003 demo titled "Baby", a remix by Dusty Kid, two remixes by Andrew Dawson, and three remixes by the duo themselves.[8]

"Memory of the Future" was released as the album's third and final single on 31 December 2012. A seven-inch mix was commissioned by Stuart Price, as well as remixes from Price, Ulrich Schnauss, DJ Waldo Squash and Digital Dog. It also contains three non-album tracks "Listening", "One Night" and "Inside".[9]

Elysium was re-released on 20 October 2017 (along with Yes) as Elysium/Further Listening 2011-2012. This reissue was not only digitally remastered but came with a second disc of B-sides, demos and remixes from the era.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[12]
Drowned in Sound8/10[13]
The Guardian3/5 stars[14]
The Independent on Sunday4/5 stars[15]
MSN Music (Expert Witness)A−[16]
musicOMH3/5 stars[17]
The Observer3/5 stars[20]

Elysium has received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 67, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[11] Simon Price of The Independent on Sunday wrote, "If Elysium has a weakness, it is the absolute absence of thumping disco-pop monsters. Once you accept that, and surrender to the tranquil beauty of Chris Lowe's synth textures, you quickly realise that Neil Tennant is on top lyrical form".[15] Robert Christgau of MSN Music quipped that although the album "may well seem too restrained", the duo are "at peace with the fate of their fame and their retirement accounts. And the understated beats suit their elysian equanimity."[16] Kevin Ritchie of Now described the album as one of the duo's "most serene and sonically consistent efforts to date", adding that the song "Hold On" "exemplifies why Elysium is one of the year's most beautiful pop albums."[19] Drowned in Sound's Jon Clark viewed the album as "a cohesive and strong effort that can stand up with some of [the duo's] best", calling it "a wise and knowing homage to the life of a pop star".[13] BBC Music's Nick Levine commented that although Elysium "isn't quite a top-drawer Pets album like 1988's Introspective or 1993's Very", it "could be Pet Shop Boys' warmest, wisest album yet."[22] Owen Myers of the NME characterised the album as "a massive foamy middle-finger to retromania, running elegantly from jangly indie to kraut jabs".[18] Allmusic editor David Jeffries referred to Elysium as "an interesting, sour, and insider-aimed dispatch from backstage, interrupted by some big moments that sound entirely commissioned."[12]

The Guardian critic Jude Rogers opined that half of the album "harks back to 1990's reflective masterpiece, Behaviour, with songs about ageing [...] and escape [...] exerting poignant pulls", but the other half "feels bitter and flippant", concluding that producer Dawson "provides a light LA gloss, but not the heavenly direction the duo deserve."[14] In a review for The Observer, Phil Mongredien cited "Your Early Stuff" and "Ego Music" as highlights, while noting that "elsewhere [the duo are] on autopilot too often for this to be anything more than just another solid Pet Shop Boys album."[20] Despite dubbing album opener "Leaving" "excellent", musicOMH's Laurence Green felt that "the rest of the album never materialises in the way you'd quite hope it would." Green continued, "[I]f Elysium is tainted by a slight tang of disappointment, it is a disappointment tempered in part by its recalling of Behaviour."[17] Under the Radar's Dan Lucas complimented keyboardist Lowe's work on the album, stating, "There may be no stand-out musical line that will live long in the memory, but even more naïve melodies such as 'Winner' constantly shift and change, never growing dull." However, he criticised singer Tennant, claiming his "vocal lines often struggle to fit the songs".[23] Douglas Wolk of Pitchfork wrote that "Tennant's mature gift as a lyricist is for sentimentality tempered by slyness, and he pulls that off a few times", but found that "[t]oo much of Elysium [...] misplaces its subtlety."[21] Andy Gill of The Independent expressed that Elysium is "bookended by two of the best songs the Pet Shop Boys have written in years ['Leaving' and 'Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin'], but flags badly in between", naming "Hold On" the worst song on the album.[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

Elysium debuted at number nine on the UK Albums Chart, selling 10,418 copies in its first week.[25] In the United States, Elysium debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 7,000 copies.[26] It also debuted at number two on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, except where noted.

4."Your Early Stuff"2:33
5."A Face Like That"5:07
6."Breathing Space"5:10
7."Ego Music"3:05
8."Hold On" (George Frideric Handel, Tennant, Lowe)3:19
9."Give It a Go"3:53
10."Memory of the Future"4:31
11."Everything Means Something"4:50
12."Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin"5:49


Credits for Elysium adapted from album liner notes.[32]


Chart (2012) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[33] 50
Austrian Albums Chart[34] 20
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[35] 44
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[36] 17
Croatian International Albums Chart[37] 35
Czech Albums Chart[38] 13
Danish Albums Chart[39] 15
Dutch Albums Chart[40] 28
Finnish Albums Chart[41] 21
French Albums Chart[42] 49
German Albums Chart[43] 7
Greek Albums Chart[44] 27
Irish Albums Chart[45] 23
Italian Albums Chart[46] 41
Japanese Albums Chart[47] 52
Mexican Albums Chart[48] 34
Norwegian Albums Chart[49] 30
Scottish Albums Chart[50] 15
Spanish Albums Chart[51] 10
Swedish Albums Chart[52] 12
Swiss Albums Chart[53] 13
UK Albums Chart[54] 9
US Billboard 200[55] 44
US Dance/Electronic Albums[55] 2

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format(s)
Japan[2] 5 September 2012 EMI CD, digital download
Australia[2] 7 September 2012
Austria[2] CD, LP, digital download
Ireland[2] Parlophone
Switzerland[2] EMI
France[2] 10 September 2012
United Kingdom[2] Parlophone
Canada[56] 11 September 2012 EMI
United States[2] Astralwerks


  1. ^ a b c "Pet Shop Boys: Elysium, track by track interview". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Elysium release dates". petshopboys.co.uk. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Invisible". petshopboys.co.uk. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Winner". petshopboys.co.uk. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Winner released". petshopboys.co.uk. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Winner released in UK". petshopboys.co.uk. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Leaving Europe". petshopboys.co.uk. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Leaving pre-order". petshopboys.co.uk. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Memory of the future". petshopboys.co.uk. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Elysium". AnyDecentMusic?. anydecentmusic.com. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Elysium – Pet Shop Boys". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  12. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Elysium – Pet Shop Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  13. ^ a b Clark, Jon (6 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  14. ^ a b Rogers, Jude (6 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys: Elysium – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  15. ^ a b Price, Simon (9 September 2012). "Album: Pet Shop Boys, Elysium (Parlophone)". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (11 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys/Bob Dylan". MSN Music. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  17. ^ a b Green, Laurence. "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". musicOMH. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  18. ^ a b Myers, Owen (7 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys – 'Elysium'". NME. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  19. ^ a b Ritchie, Kevin (6–13 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". Now. 32 (1). Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  20. ^ a b Mongredien, Phil (9 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys: Elysium – review". The Observer. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  21. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (25 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys: Elysium". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  22. ^ Levine, Nick (3 September 2012). "Review of Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". BBC Music. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  23. ^ Lucas, Dan (12 September 2012). "Pet Shop Boys: Elysium (Astralwerks)". Under the Radar. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  24. ^ Gill, Andy (8 September 2012). "Album: Pet Shop Boys, Elysium (Parlophone)". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  25. ^ Jones, Alan (17 September 2012). "Official Charts Analysis: The XX's Coexist sells 58k". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 19 September 2012. (subscription required)
  26. ^ Caulfield, Keith (25 July 2013). "Pet Shop Boys Earn Highest Charting Album in Nearly 20 Year". Billboard.com. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  27. ^ "Elysion [Regular Edition]" (in Japanese). CDJapan. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  28. ^ "Elysium (Deluxe Version) von Pet Shop Boys" (in German). iTunes Store Germany. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  29. ^ "Elysium track-listing". petshopboys.co.uk. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  30. ^ "Elysion Special Edition [Limited Edition]" (in Japanese). CDJapan. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  31. ^ "Elysium track-listing". petshopboys.co.uk. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  32. ^ Elysium (CD liner notes). Pet Shop Boys. Parlophone. 2012. P3043912.CS1 maint: others (link)
  33. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  34. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  35. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  36. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  37. ^ "Top Stranih – Tjedan 38. 2012" (in Croatian). Hrvatska Diskografska Udruga. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  38. ^ "TOP50 Prodejní: PET SHOP BOYS – Elysium" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  39. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 8 December 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  40. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  41. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  42. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  43. ^ "Pet Shop Boys, Elysium" (in German). charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  44. ^ "Top-75 Albums Sales Chart – Εβδομάδα 39/2012" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  45. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 13 September 2012". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  46. ^ "Artisti – Classifica settimanale dal 17/09/2012 al 23/09/2012" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  47. ^ ペット・ショップ・ボーイズのアルバム売り上げランキング [Pet Shop Boys album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  48. ^ "Top 100 México – Semana Del 22 al 28 de Octubre del 2012" (PDF) (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  49. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  50. ^ "2012 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  51. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  52. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  53. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Elysium". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  54. ^ "2012 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  55. ^ a b "Elysium – Pet Shop Boys". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  56. ^ "Pet Shop Boys : Elysium". ShopEMI. EMI Music Canada. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2012.