Pazz & Jop ’93: “AIDS pervades ‘Very’…”


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

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