When you stop liking the music as much

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Tentenlad
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When you stop liking the music as much

#1 Post by Tentenlad »

PSB are my favourite music artists.
I reckon they have been very consistent through the years.
The nearest I got to not enjoying the music was ‘Release’ or ‘Elysium’, where there were 2 or 3 tracks I wasn’t keen on, but they always then come back with something better. They seem to be unique in this way.

I also like Erasure but their last excellent album was ‘Chorus’ in 1991. After this there were only occasional good tracks, for me. Recent album Violet flame was fairly good.

Depeche mode lost the plot a bit after Violator, and again I only liked 2 or 3 tracks on each album, until they went totally abysmal in the 2000s.

Should they have stopped while they were still ‘good’? When did you stop liking a band/artist? Are PSB still the best?!

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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#2 Post by Dog »

My favourite acts are Pet Shop Boys, New Order / Joy Division, the KLF, Kraftwerk, Suede, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. While all of these have, in my eyes, consistent catalogues - some larger than others - Pet Shop Boys are my favourite by a country mile.

Their consistency, for me, is unsurpassed. The fact they have remained so prolific for so long has meant it has been a joy to follow their career and be a fan over the decades. There is a depth and breadth to their work which simply isn’t there in other artists: the songwriting, the music, the lyrics, the design, the performances, the clothes, the interviews, the collaborations, the remixes, the charm, the humour, the mystery, the partnership. They are inherently interesting; never boring.
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East End Bhoy
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#3 Post by East End Bhoy »

Dog wrote: Wed 07 Oct 2020, 10:06 pm My favourite acts are Pet Shop Boys, New Order / Joy Division, the KLF, Kraftwerk, Suede, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. While all of these have, in my eyes, consistent catalogues - some larger than others - Pet Shop Boys are my favourite by a country mile.

Their consistency, for me, is unsurpassed. The fact they have remained so prolific for so long has meant it has been a joy to follow their career and be a fan over the decades. There is a depth and breadth to their work which simply isn’t there in other artists: the songwriting, the music, the lyrics, the design, the performances, the clothes, the interviews, the collaborations, the remixes, the charm, the humour, the mystery, the partnership. They are inherently interesting; never boring.
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JSDOUVRES
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#4 Post by JSDOUVRES »

Good topic this.

I like tons of groups and artists, my favourites are undoubtedly PSB and Erasure (of which I have collected since the early 90's) and I can honestly say I have not enjoyed their last two albums at all, especially Erasures recent one 'The Neon' which I dislike so much I literally can't listen to it. I have listened to Hotpot very little too, although there are two tracks I absolutely adore (Will-O-The-Wisp and Happy people) as well as the b-side Decide, but overall a great disappointment in my opinion and I say that because at the end of the day music, like everything in life is subjective but That is how I feel.

I really enjoyed Electric and Super and listen to these albums fairly often as well as Erasures previous albums The Violet Flame and World Beyond, all excellent albums in my opinion and all classic PSB and Erasure.

No idea why I have disliked the recent albums so much but I just have and that is the honest truth. I hope it's just a one off and that I'll enjoy each bands next efforts which will hopefully come about in the next few years but only time will tell. At the end of the day I feel extremely privileged to have had both bands as part of the soundtrack to my life (in good and bad times) which is something nobody can ever take away from me and of which I'd never let them anyway. I first heard Bilingual on my birthday when I first went to work in France in 1996 and that album reminds me of that time incredibly strongly, quite incredible to be honest. The same with Elysium, I was in the United States at that time (Portland, Oregon) and remember downloading it in a public library in order to listen to it and when I do now it takes me right back to that moment and is incredibly powerful. Tomorrows World by Erasure was released during a time I was going through a quite tragic divorce in France and when my life changed forever pretty much and so has an even stronger and emotional impact but meaningful nevertheless.

Perhaps COVID has had an impact on my feelings this year, as well as the fact I lost a good friend who left this world far too young. I am better off financially than I have ever been, I have been very lucky in that regards but it has proven to me that money means absolutely nothing at a time when the world is falling apart and good people are struggling that deserve so much better. I was happier when I was poor and in love. And even poor and not in love. If that makes any sense which it probably doesn't.

Anyway, I genuinely believe the standard has slipped for both of my favourite bands. I can't remember the last great album I bought. I hate getting old, everything seems crap now, but then again we often look back and see the past, when we were young as being being so much better when it probably wasn't. In music terms I think it was though to be totally honest!

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Greendrake
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#5 Post by Greendrake »

Tentenlad wrote: Wed 07 Oct 2020, 8:17 pm Should they have stopped while they were still ‘good’?
They have always been, so no.
Tentenlad wrote: Wed 07 Oct 2020, 8:17 pm When did you stop liking a band/artist?
I have never stopped liking songs/albums that I once upon a time started liking. If an artist whose product I like releases something I don't like (rarely happens with PSB) I just don't listen to it. I avoid making conclusions like "Oh, this artist has exhausted their potential and I probably won't hear anything good from them anymore". That sort of conclusion serves no purpose. Keep liking what you already like, and keep an open mind to possibly like what comes down the pipe next.

As for the artists as persons — that depends on how they behave, views they share etc. This is completely notwithstanding with whether I like their works. But then I rarely follow artists' personal life anyway unless I feel a very special attachment to their songs.
Tentenlad wrote: Wed 07 Oct 2020, 8:17 pm Are PSB still the best?!
That's pretty subjective. But for me — absolutely.

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Clasicode
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#6 Post by Clasicode »

I had a break from the PSB for a while and now that I'm listening to their tracks I am realizing just how valuable they are. I like the PSB and KLF binary but I was really impressed by the Depeche Mode single 'Wrong' which I bought by accident and made me respect that band more and buy their music. Erasure made me sick if I recall, don't wanna try their music again like I did say with New Order who I think aren't that bad. The PSB created a 'Heaven' image in some periods of their music with their act presentation. Very few bands did that....

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leesmapman
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#7 Post by leesmapman »

I think it all has to do with expectancy.

I have several artists on my A-list. That's a list of bands or artists of which I will buy an album with no hesitation.
Pet Shop Boys are on my A-list. Jean-Michel Jarre too. There are some more, but over the years the list is thinning.
Jean-Michel Jarre's musical output has not been that consistent since the 2000s. At least that's what I thought. It turns out that after revisiting these albums after several years most of them are very good but at the time they were not what I expected from them. Equinoxe Infinity at first I thought was an okay album, but now, 2 years later, I really dig most of the tracks.

I guess this will happen to more artists that have gone from my A-list.

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hotspotnot
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#8 Post by hotspotnot »

Pet Shop Boys are still my top all-time favourite band, but something happened to me as a fan between Yes and Elysium. From Elysium onwards I was just a little less engaged with everything - and I don't think it's due to the album itself. The obsessive fandom that took up my teens and twenties took a downward turn. I stopped buying their singles on CD, I only bought the first issue of the new Annually, I've only seen them live twice having previously bought tickets to multiple tour dates. I nearly didn't buy tickets for Dreamland - still got them in case it ever happens!

I can only put it down to me getting older!
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tottenhammattspurs
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#9 Post by tottenhammattspurs »

leesmapman wrote: Thu 08 Oct 2020, 10:02 pm I think it all has to do with expectancy.

I have several artists on my A-list. That's a list of bands or artists of which I will buy an album with no hesitation.
Pet Shop Boys are on my A-list. Jean-Michel Jarre too. There are some more, but over the years the list is thinning.
Jean-Michel Jarre's musical output has not been that consistent since the 2000s. At least that's what I thought. It turns out that after revisiting these albums after several years most of them are very good but at the time they were not what I expected from them. Equinoxe Infinity at first I thought was an okay album, but now, 2 years later, I really dig most of the tracks.

I guess this will happen to more artists that have gone from my A-list.
I’m with you on Equinox Infinity. It’s far superior to Oxygene 3 and is up there with his best work.
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leesmapman
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#10 Post by leesmapman »

tottenhammattspurs wrote: Fri 09 Oct 2020, 10:47 pm I’m with you on Equinox Infinity. It’s far superior to Oxygene 3 and is up there with his best work.
To be honest, I think Oxygene 3 is great.

fac23
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#11 Post by fac23 »

Pet Shop Boys were the first band I fell in love with and I still buy every album and listen to every remix. From Bilingual to Fundamental I was a little less enthusiastic about them but with Yes (and, in hindsight, Fundamental) they recovered in terms of songwriting quality. The best songs on each new album may not quite reach the best moments of their early albums and lately there's also been a slight chance of disaster with each new one (Wedding in Berlin, Hold On). But on the whole, the quality of their output is still really amazing.

My other childhood heroes New Order and Depeche Mode haven't done quite so well. While I loved Republic when it came out, these days I find that (for me at least) New Order were done after Technique. I can't even listen to anything they did post Get Ready. Good Lord, those lyrics.
Depeche Mode are a bit more difficult. Violator was the last album that sounded effortless from start to finish. But both Exciter and Ultra had enough inspired moments that I still enjoy listening to them. After that, their songwriting increasingly started to sound as if the process had been as enjoyable as working in a depleted coalmine. Absolutely tedious, despite some interesting sound design. I know that's a bit harsh and unfair but that's the short version of it.
OMD and Erasure I never found very consistent even in their best years and I mostly lost interest past the early 90s.

Another group which has long delivered high quality output is Saint Etienne. The Radio Dept and Radiohead too, actually. And I'll still listen to whatever Damon Albarn is involved in. Belle & Sebastian took a wrong exit when they let Trevor Horn produce them. Which is a shame as I still like listening to Stuart's voice and they still write good songs - I just can't stand their music.

Over the years there were a few other bands that managed to be my favourite for a period of time (Piano Magic, Interpol, Beach House, Tame Impala). But (so far) none of them have existed for as long or managed to put out as steady a stream of excellent tracks as PSB. So, to answer the initial question: yeah, they're still the best :-D

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Gabby
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#12 Post by Gabby »

The Boys had a big wobble from me around the time of Release and I started looking for PSBesque bands that sounded closer to their 80s sound, but I kept the faith.

I got into Muse a while back and they went off the boil for me after a couple of decent albums.

I think PSB have been the most consistent band though despite the bumps along the way.

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daveid
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#13 Post by daveid »

Hotspot is not sitting well with me now after 9 months. Even Willothewisp doesn't grab me like it did on first listen. I would say that the tent poles of the album are Will o the wisp, Happy people and Only the dark and maybe Dreamland but the rest just sags and fails to inspire.

Generally speaking though I think there is a perfectly natural tendency for bands to slowly go off after a certain time and it's probably to do with the ageing process. A group's early career makes hay from the critical life experience of youth and this can sustain a career for several albums. Then comes the inevitable peak of success, the plateau and then the decline when one begins mining previous ideas and resorting to repetition and cliché often unconsciously.

PSB, New order, Erasure, Depeche are all bands decades past their peak. They are old men (sorry Gillian) and they are treading water to stay in the game. We're just lucky that Neil and Chris are exceptionally gifted and can keep creating stuff leagues better than the dismal recent output of New order and Mode. As for Erasure I did listen to the first song from The Neon and it sounded empty, spiritless and boringly predictable.

It's definitely diminishing returns and has been for a long while but they do surprise us every now and then.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#14 Post by Patrick Bateman »

I always remember this NME review of Nightlife, which makes the valid point that everyone who's great goes crap in the end:

https://www.nme.com/reviews/reviews-nme-1453-337858

That said, I don't think that PSB have got crap (yet?), although if Nightlife were their final album it would make that argument far more convincing. What makes PSB unusual in pop terms at least is that they are fundamentally songwriters and I think that element is shown consistently through their catalogue. I think it's our subjective response that changes most, rather than the quality of the material per se - the albums I loved at sixteen are always going to affect me more than those I hear for the first time at 46 as they're infused with the novelty and promise of youth, rather than ennui.

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Re: When you stop liking the music as much

#15 Post by Scottydog »

I don’t know why but I wasn’t inspired by the little I heard from either Fundamental or Yes. In fact I didn’t buy either of them for years. I loved Release (still do) and everything before that and was still listening to most of it. It wasn’t until Elysium that they caught my attention again. The video release of Invisible was epic. That song is up there with some of their very best in my opinion. I bought Elysium on the day it was released and I was hooked again. So Elysium has some weak spots but it’s still an amazing album. It inspired me to finally listen to Fundamental and realise how stupid I had been to miss out on all that happened with it but I certainly enjoyed catching up! Yes took a while longer to get into my head but once the Further Listening version was in my hands it grew on me and I haven’t relapsed since.
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