Pet Shop Boys
Actually



Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Good luck, bad luck waiting in a line / It takes more than the matter of time.”

The 80s were filled with memorable music, with important contributions ranging from post punk to pop/synthpop. Artists such as Depeche Mode and Prince are credited as major figures of the latter’s sound, offering their unique take on it. While that is highly creditable as is, there is a name often omitted within 80’s pop legends: The Pet Shop Boys. The duo only started releasing records towards the mid-end of the decade whilst still developing their sound; though, it didn't take them too long to do so. In fact, they hit gold on their sophomore effort, Actually.

Actually is all that synthpop strived to be and more. It remains fun, but doesn't sacrifice its elegance or coolness because of it. “Heart” exactly proves so, as it brings highly danceable sections, catchy melodies, eloquent orchestral strings, and house-y arrangements in just under four minutes. Said electronic flair also provides lots of moments that add very particular textures to the music. This aspect is well brought out on memorable hooks such as the one present on “What Have I Done To Deserve This.” The hooks serve as a great example of The Pet Shop Boys’s quirky vibe and bursting personality, always delivered by Neil Tennant’s highly distinguishable vocals. Of course, the album keeps from being shallow due to some breathtaking ballads: take “King’s Cross,” for example. The track is a fascinating take on post-punk due to its original use of an instrumental background from the genre. The combination of intelligent but groovy, charismatic pop provides for a pleasurable and revitalizing experience worthy of many repetitions.

Even though The Pet Shop Boys aren't what they used to be, their second effort is an undeniable success. Plenty of years after its release, Actually still holds up to the giants of pop music. In a way, that makes The Pet Shop Boys giants of pop themselves, but in their own, amusing style that captured the ears of those willing to listen.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
50iL
August 8th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/7hkIf8sKiJKRjADB2xan74?si=LBSUFo9a

Special thanks to Aaron and FullOfSounds for proofreading this review!

Can't believe this is almost 30 years old.

Digging: Chris Potter - Ultrahang

dbizzles
August 8th 2017


13733 Comments


Nice review. Might have to spin this.

Digging: Sanguisugabogg - Pornographic Seizures

50iL
August 8th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man, definitely do if you're looking for some great pop

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2017


17208 Comments


Nice review man, "It's a sin" is such a jam. I remember the video used to spook me back when I was a kid.

Digging: Drei Affen - Seguimos Ciegxs

50iL
August 8th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck yeah, always loved their music vids

ianblxdsoe
August 8th 2017


1916 Comments


definitely in the mood to spin this now. short and sweet review that gets the point across well, pos'd man :-)

50iL
August 8th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bro, means a lot coming from you

jtswope
August 8th 2017


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album so much.



That hook on What Have I Done to Deserve This is fantastic yeah.

50iL
August 8th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hells yes man

TwigTW
August 8th 2017


3825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Can't believe this is almost 20 years old." . . . It's 30, but who's counting



Nice review for a great 80s pop album.

clavier
Staff Reviewer
August 8th 2017


1077 Comments


Solid work 50 : )

Digging: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Det Onda. Det Goda. Det Vackra. Det Fula.

50iL
August 8th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

True, it's 30 lol

Thanks Claire

bloc
August 8th 2017


58786 Comments


FINALLY this gets a review

Def my favourite PSB album; a classic

Digging: Soda Stereo - Dynamo

VaxXi
August 8th 2017


4418 Comments


best pop album

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 8th 2017


4914 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review! This album is a guilty pleasure!

Digging: Lionize - Panic Attack!

bloc
August 8th 2017


58786 Comments


For sure, I listen to these guys with a lot of pride tbh

Anothertwo
August 8th 2017


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was thinking of reviewing this, but you beat me to it! Great review -- "What Have I Done to Deserve This," "I Want to Wake Up," and "Heart" are my favorites.

50iL
August 9th 2017


5277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks lots

Ryus
January 7th 2019


18090 Comments


west end girls is perhaps the greatest pop song of the 80s

bloc
January 7th 2019


58786 Comments


Lots of competition in that category, but it's certainly in my top 5 at least



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