Very Introspective, Actually
A Tribute to the Pet Shop Boys
Ho hum, another tribute album• But wait! This one’s actually A) good, and B) dedicated to an artist that actually deserves a tribute. Moreover, if the liner notes are to be believed, it’s been put together by someone who actually cares about the band and treats them with respect, compiler Patrick Rodgers going into greater detail about why Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (collectively known as the Pet Shop Boys) merit such an honor than I can in this space. The bands gathered here are mostly unknown (the “big” names are Momus and Bauhaus/Love And Rockets member David J), but all are diverse and show a respect for the source material that’s often sadly lacking in these things. Highlights include Human Drama’s madrigal version of “This Must Be the Place I’ve Waited Years to Leave,” Motormark’s garagey breakbeat take on “Left to My Own Devices,” Athan Maroulis & Zeitmahl’s strange lounge version of “Heart,” Icon Of Coil’s technoriffic “New York City Boy,” Momus’ dreamy “So Hard,” and David J’s pretty, subdued “Being Boring.” And while some tracks, like Fictional’s “Opportunities” and Sweep’s “Love Comes Quickly” are a little close to the originals for comfort, all are good, respectable versions. This ends up being one of the better tribute records in recent memory, up there with March Records’ recent Human League tribute, Reproductions. When label’s like Cleopatra are cranking out a tribute disc or two a week, it’s no mean feat to stand out from the pack, but Very Introspective, Actually actually does.