Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

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Dog
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Re: The Problems With Hotspot

#601 Post by Dog »

moxlox wrote:....And.....can we change this thread title to "The Opinions of Hotspot"? As it is an opinion it has a problem, and the majority here to me seem to like it. :dance:
Yes, we already had that thread for all opinions. Not sure why we need another purely negative one.

[Merged]
Woof.

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jasonjohn
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#602 Post by jasonjohn »

I’m often confused by a new PSB album and this one is no exception. I didn’t take an immediate shine to Very, for example, but after a few listens I understood it and had appreciation.

There’s something different about Hotspot, and I’d say it might be because this is a “social” album - more than usual for them. They’ve let down their defences a little, and focused on tracks about going out and being human. The whole Price trilogy might of been on that trajectory, in fact. But here more than ever. Even in interviews they’ve given more of themselves and their inner workings.

Will-o-the-Wisp (Highlight): Let’s start the album by going cruising with Neil on public transport, shall we? I’d always imagined our dynamic duo travelling on Euro trains sipping tea and admiring the scenery, but if this track is anything to go by it is actually an exercise in compete debauchery.

Makes me wonder - if they had produced the album in France might it have opened with A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi? I’m sure there are chaps in leather caps on l'autobus.

This track never slows. The verses sound slightly off-kilter as if always slipping forward. There’s a brazenness here, it’s terrific and I’m here to fully absorb it!

You Are the One: Clearly this is The Only One part II. The Nightlife track never found much love, but it shares a similar honeyed ambience, but perhaps on Hotspot there is greater abstraction that makes it more trendy and palatable? Both are beautiful imo.

Happy People: Sonically, could easily of been dropped onto Electronic’s self titled album or the flip side of Behaviour. The chorus states happy people living in a sad world, but that contrast isn’t explored at all in the simplistic verses. For the most part Neil just babbles about liking someone in passing, so it’s an opportunity lost to expand on the chorus’ interesting idea. Still, it’s bouncy and keeps up the mood. I like it a lot despite the the airy lyrics, or maybe because of them.

Dreamland: Speaking of mood - the opening horns of this track really break it. It’s a good change, sounding fresh in the middle of the Hotspot lineup. Still a good track to my ears, but I do find myself needing a little break from it. One of only two songs that don’t revolve around love or partying. With the other being…

Hoping for a Miracle (Highlight): Wow this one is instant canon for me. Neil twisting a nerve and Chris right behind him with some heartbreaking chords. I can’t get enough of the way the words in the verses bump into each other.

Something that’s been missing from the Price era for me, and is definitively PSB, are the melancholy tracks that hit home with raw honesty and mature reflection. Something Tracy Thorn would sing, or I imagine Neil writing in his head at his kitchen sink. Elysium and Yes both had these tracks, and now here we finally have one with Price. Only wish the final spoken words were more audible, because they’re great and should be heard.

I Don't Wanna: I feel seen.

Probably the weakest track on the album for me. Lyrics are basic and it’s a flimsy premise for a song without expansion. With this and Happy People, I begin to miss Neil’s usual observational poetry. It’s a nice sounding track however, and supports the overall party vibe, which is the apparent Hotspot aim.

Monkey Business: Neil’s at it again with the cruising. Via planes this time rather than trains. It’s becoming a little embarrassing but we follow him into a club anyway. Chris is already there playing some boppy riffs. I wonder what modes of transport the boys might take next to inspire future belters. Also wondering given their apparent alcohol problem if the next album is to be called Intervention.

I guess this is is also a highlight, but to me it’s more of a defining flourish for the album. Enjoyed seeing Neil and Chris appear as gay mafia figures in the film clip. Well deserved! There’s a bit of a roaring forties vibe to it also - witness the piano and horns in the closing chorus, and also some of the dancers in the close of the video clip. Super fun!

Unfortunately they opt for a fade out - bit of an own goal there. The chorus of backing vocals chanting “Monkey Business” in the single version was a perfect wrap.

Only the Dark: I’m not sure if there is a name for this type of production, but it’s incredibly lavish. Reminds me of the Time Bandits. Lots of velvety depth to it. And again Neil is here to whisper some poetry in your ear. Who would say no? I should write more but it’s so deep in syrupy production it almost defies criticism.

Burning the Heather (Highlight): This has become a classic for me. Achingly honest. It’s one of those tracks where Neils articulation shines through, with sullen lyrics and chords. Lethargic yet sweet, it’s a perfect hands-swaying-in-the-air ending to an otherwise bouncy album. Somehow Neil manages to be completely open while also somewhat cryptic.

Wedding in Berlin: …… woah boy.



Overall - a terrific mess of songs tied together with lots of ambience from Chris and Price. Patchy in places but the continuity is kept. If you loved this, I’d recommend giving Elysium a second try with (dare I say) An Open Mind. Because both albums share a textured soul, with the odd hidden gem.
Last edited by jasonjohn on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 12:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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glennjridge
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#603 Post by glennjridge »

well Hot Spot is Elysium part 2 IMO. with better songs. its the same album.

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moxlox
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#604 Post by moxlox »

glennjridge wrote:
Thu 30 Jan 2020, 12:25 am
well Hot Spot is Elysium part 2 IMO. with better songs. its the same album.
Interesting observation.

I don't honestly know if I agree or not, but it certainly isn't a preposterous suggestion. Hotspot has a lot more upbeat moments than Elysium I think, but relative to the previous two albums it sits in a different place. I would be curious to know if any of the Hotspot tracks started their gestation in the Elysium era.

...and following your comment I am now inspired to listen to Elysium this afternoon. :up: :clap:
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#605 Post by solarin »

After several listenings I think that Hotspot is a very cohesive álbum. And very good, of course. Easy to enjoy.
I don't wanna skip any song, even wedding un Berlín, although I can't wait til the end, the last minute is unsubstantial for me.
Once said this, Dreamland fits better inside the álbum than as a single. Otherwise, I prefer Burning the heather as an individual song, the radio version, than in the album.
Monkey Business is a masterpiece! I believe that if It was from Bruno Mars or Jason Derulo It would be a world number one. But... We're the Pet Shop Boys.

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karnsculpture
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#606 Post by karnsculpture »

A week on and I think I love this album. I like everything on it including Wedding In Berlin. It's the best album since Yes for me.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#607 Post by britboy »

I'm thoroughly enjoying Hotspot, it's the first time I haven't skipped a track since Behaviour, it might be the third album produced by Stuart Price but to me this is almost irrelevant seeing it sounds like a typical Pet Shop Boys album.

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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#608 Post by rojak »

jasonjohn wrote:
Thu 30 Jan 2020, 12:12 am


Only the Dark: I’m not sure if there is a name for this type of production, but it’s incredibly lavish. Reminds me of the Time Bandits. Lots of velvety depth to it. And again Neil is here to whisper some poetry in your ear. Who would say no? I should write more but it’s so deep in syrupy production it almost defies criticism.
Yes there is a name for the production. It's Vaporwave. Beck's most recent album featured it.

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glennjridge
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#609 Post by glennjridge »

I see on the offical site no less the lyrics for Wilo the wisp still has that unknown lyric.....


"I think, my,*** you may have changed"

I personally think he said "my love" you may have changed, but I think neil accidentally just put a kinda weird twist on the word when he sung it. cause I just cant think what else it could be if not that.

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Ghost within this house
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#610 Post by Ghost within this house »

karnsculpture wrote:
Sat 01 Feb 2020, 10:22 am
A week on and I think I love this album. I like everything on it including Wedding In Berlin. It's the best album since Yes for me.
Me too.
Firing verbal shots.......like a Tommy Gun

D.J.
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#611 Post by D.J. »

Ghost within this house wrote:
Sat 01 Feb 2020, 4:48 pm
karnsculpture wrote:
Sat 01 Feb 2020, 10:22 am
A week on and I think I love this album. I like everything on it including Wedding In Berlin. It's the best album since Yes for me.
Me too.
Me three!😁
I need to live few months with this album, but it has potential to be in my top 5 PSB albums ever. It’s very consistent! Highs are not as high as for example Actually and Introspective, but it is so damn consistent that I can play it without any skipping and then replay it again.😊

The production is fantastic, much warmer than Electric and Super, although those two albums have some fantastic songs! And Neil’s vocal styles may be more varied than on any previous album.👍 He sings in so many different voices throughout, often in the same song.

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CroMagnon
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#612 Post by CroMagnon »

glennjridge wrote:I see on the offical site no less the lyrics for Wilo the wisp still has that unknown lyric.....


"I think, my,*** you may have changed"

I personally think he said "my love" you may have changed, but I think neil accidentally just put a kinda weird twist on the word when he sung it. cause I just cant think what else it could be if not that.
I may be misunderstanding, but are you saying there was an extra word after ‘my’ that was edited out?

‘My’ does make sense on its own as a self-talk affectation, as in:

“My, aren’t you a handsome thing?”

I don’t hear any evidence there is/was an extra word after ‘my’ in the way Neil sings it.

Apple Music, for example, just has the lyrics as:

I think, my, you may have changed,
But you’re such a handsome thing.


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rashomon
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#613 Post by rashomon »

Having played almost nothing but since release here are my ‘hot spots’ on each of the Hotspot tracks .... loving this album!

Will-o-the-wisp - lots of interesting bits throughout but the talking parts about going ‘respectable with a wife’ and ‘living in a rented flat’. My, it’s so very Pet Shop Boys!

You are the one - the phrasing and delivery of the ‘tingle tangle’ section that starts with ‘It’s like a drug, it’s like a dream’ ... really makes this one soar

Happy people - ‘A blues would be in B flat / pain defining wisdom / but the soul is in the high hat / programmed in the system’ no idea what he’s on about but it sounds very good to me !

Dreamland - the tinkling melody and the ‘Dreamland is a free land’ refrain as sung by Neil (obviously!)

Hoping for a miracle - ALL of it! But being selective ... this bit ‘A meadow in Oxford where you sat in the sun / Those were the days you had just begun / firing verbal shots / like a Tommy Gun’

I don’t wanna - the bassline right after ‘What’s the deal? / A guy so shy he doesn’t feel / that he has any sex appeal’. I can hear this flowing straight into ‘In the night’ - mashup required!

Monkey business - ‘There are diamonds in the sky that shine for me’

Only the dark - tough one as my least favourite ballad on the album but I’ll say the opening sequence before Neil starts singing

Burning the heather - all the synth sax parts and the bit when Neil sings ‘otherwise it’s just hype you hope’

Wedding in Berlin - at 2.54 - the industrial/engine/winding synth followed by the beat drop. This bit reminds me of the fantastic part in the extended Left to my own devices mix with the propeller blades ... so good in fact that I’m going to cue it up for a listen right now! 😍
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#614 Post by Tom Angel »

I think Elysium as a 10 track album easily outshines Hotspot. Losing Hold on and Ego music.

It's production is not dissiamlr to hotspot - which is far better than Super - but it's richer, as is the more constant mood.

I'm very disappointed with You're the one - it's as anodyne as the only one and insipid and underwritten, although it does benefit from its atmosphere.
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Izione
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Re: Hotspot - Forum Reactions.

#615 Post by Izione »

Hotspot on vinyl sounds even better with the warm analogue synths imo.
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