Has it really been three years since the last album by the Pet Shop Boys? Yes, Yes appeared way back in 2009. The PSB’s new album is officially out today. After a dozen listens, the sinuous and intelligent sound still continues to delight. Elysium is just as likeable as Yes, and yet somehow smoother. Tennant’s voice, too, just seems to get ever-more seductive. Perhaps that’s down to some magical combination of the new L.A. recording studio, and Tennant’s ageing larynx. Perhaps it’s a result of an ever-closer meshing of Tennant and Lowe, like an old married couple. The new album lacks some of the political edge of Yes, and is probably the better for it. Getting the politics right has never been one of the PSB’s strong points. When you’re making music for the ages, politics are best left implicit. They’re implicit here, and seem all the more fitting for the times (‘Winner’, on enjoying success; ‘Invisible’ on ageist attitudes; the musical-theatre show-stopper ‘Hold On’, on hope). The generation of gay men who died of AIDS also haunt the lyrics. As with most albums, there are a few tracks which won’t appeal to everyone. For me these are ‘Early Stuff’ and ‘Ego Music’ — both rather too “third album”-ist, offering songs about living the songwriting life. I removed these, and replaced them with two superb bonus tracks from the E.P.: ‘A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi‘ and ‘I Started a Joke’. But despite these niggles, the work as a whole (album + E.P.) is a triumph.