Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe bring no irony to their work this time; they’re treading carefully, as if a single wrong move will bring their whole world crashing down. AIDS pervades Very; it is theme, subject, mood, and metaphor—and it gives a gray, withered cast to every face and incident, putting lines in Princess Di’s face, making the bums theatergoers step over already dead. And yet the music is as effete, as drawing-room perfect, as ever; the Pet Shop Boys might be reviving the Precious movement as surely as they are engraving tombstones. When it’s over, let it play, and some minutes after the last cut finishes a voice sings out for just a moment, Chris Lowe: “I believe in ecstasy.” Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t.
Village Voice, March 1, 1994