Pet Shop Boys – Agenda

Aging, past-their-prime, English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have digitally released a new four song EP aptly titled Agenda. Out April 12 on vinyl, it features nostalgic/retro-sounding, catchy-as-hell New Wave pop tunes with lame/snarky lyrics, chock full of cheap political rhetoric and propaganda disguised as ironic, cheeky humor. For each of the four songs released, PSB have also released an accompanying lyric video on YouTube, where it gets even more political and artsy fartsy (cheese stick black and white videos of ocean waves crashing on a beach et al, that kind of horse shit), but if you follow PSB at all, this is nothing out of the ordinary for them.

“Give Stupidity a Chance” is about, you guessed it, Donald Trump. English folks lecturing us about the American president again… *SIGH*…. It’s all the things we’ve heard before ad nauseam, so it’s kind of easy to just roll your eyes at. PSB even mention the “grab ’em by the pussy” thing…”Chicks are always up for it/ You’ve got to grab whatever you can/ We need a leader who knows money means class/ With an eye for a peach-perfect piece of ass.” Hilarious! (Not really).

Another lyric goes, “Instead of governing with thoughtful sensitivity/ Let’s shock and awe the world with idiotic bigotry,” a reference to the “shock and awe” tactics of the US military. The only problem with this idea is that Trump is far from a war hawk. Actually, he’s the only president in my lifetime that’s called for less “foolish wars” during a State of the Union. Obama kept us at war for two full terms and bombed five other Middle-Eastern countries without congressional approval. Not to mention the countless drone strikes. I don’t remember too many rock protest songs during that time period. Having said all that, this song is still extremely catchy and well written. A song can have horrible, nonsensical lyrics and still be a well written song.

“On Social Media” is the least political (even though it still has a slight political element) and the funniest (and best) of the four songs. Its video also plays out more like an actual music video vs. just a lyric video and it is very humorous. “What Are We Going to Do About the Rich,” although extremely catchy as well, is about as cliched lyrically as the song’s title. And you know what it’s about already without even checking it out – yep, you guessed it, a song bashing the super-wealthy and capitalism. Ironically, capitalism is how the Pet Shop Boys made and make their money and they’re pretty well off – vocalist Neil Tennant is worth $14 million and keyboardist Chris Lowe is worth $12 million. Bunch of rich assholes. They should share it.

Pet Shop Boys