Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Pet Shop Boys: Please [EMI America, 1986]
The music's blandness is part of the quite well-executed concept: articulating the ambivalent romanticism, immodest hopes, and not-so-quiet desperation behind the suburban facade of the people who create Smash Hits pop, and maybe consume it, too. I hum most of the catchily namby-pamby tunes and ponder most of the yearningly cynical lyrics, but the moments I really love are provided by sound effects--sirens and breaking glass so skillfully integrated into the synthesized textures that at first I didn't notice they were there. A-