Pet Shop Boys – “The Pop Kids” (Singles Going Steady)

Somebody get the synthpop crown and adorn it on the heads of these talented men.

Alexandra Fletcher: Somebody get the synthpop crown and adorn it on the heads of these talented men. As soon as the hook hit and the beat dropped it was clear the Pet Shop Boys had gone and done it again. Throwback house music at it’s finest, paired with a simple narrative about two friends and their love for pop music. Neil Tennant basically stops singing and talks over the beat during the bridge and it still flows seamlessly. I’d guess this was a low budget video, but the retro rhythm matches the MS Word Art inspired lyric video well. [8/10]

Pryor Stroud: Buzzsawing the doors open to party they started decades ago, Pet Shop Boy’s late-career comeback single sounds like a redemptive return to form for a duo that barely deviated from this form in the first place. It’s a patently traditionalist record, but all the traditions it resurrects are welcome: the club-ready bass locomotion, half-spoken melodies, plainly spoken asides, and anthemic, coruscating synth lines all prove that Tennant and Lowe have no qualms about indulging in the electro-pop excesses that brought them fame. Listening to “The Pop Kids”, it’s hard not to imagine it as an in media res narrative crawling out of the club-to-street underworld of “West End Girls”; one kid is an East End boy, the other a West End girl, and they trip on the easy, visceral fantasies of the pop scene, masking the myriad privations — financial, spiritual, and otherwise — that gnaw at them through the day. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: This is a really great, light dance pop song. The beat was heavy, the lyrics were interesting, and the touch of piano in the chorus was great. There’s nothing really to complain about; it had everything that I liked in an electro dance pop track. [8/10]

Morgan Y. Evans: The ’90s nostalgic storyline is cute and will make you want to go to clubs or sit alone with a friend dissecting pop hits, as the song mentions. Music is non-offensive and also almost secondary to the vocal. This is more amusing than essential. Still, the Pet Shop Boys are always welcome. [6/10]

Ed Whitelock: Timeless. Nostalgia should always sound this good. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: Tennant and Lowe manage to stay relevant by simultaneously updating their sound without pandering too hard to the latest technology. Having said that, the song is still rather unremarkable. Lyrically dull and overly self-referential (yes, we get it, you’re the pop kids), I would be quite surprised if this wins over any new Pet Shop Boys fans but instead simply reminds people that they’re still around. [6/10]

Steve Horowitz: A song that eats itself in the true pop tradition. The Pet Shop Boys find the fine groove between being and nothingness by celebrating the place where they meet. The music is catchy, the lyrics illustrative, the total impact as refreshing as a new song on the radio that you swear you must have heard a million times before but are never tired of. [8/10]

Chad Miller: Annoying vocals with annoying words to accompany them such as “They called us the Pop Kids / Cause we loved the pop hits / and quoted the best bits / so we were the pop kids”. You’d be hard pressed to make pop sound lamer than they did. Would work 100% better as an instrumental as the music itself was interesting. [3/10]

SCORE: 6.88