MU­SIC BOOK OF THE FORT­NIGHT

Hot Press - - Books - AOIFE BRAD­SHAW

NEIL TEN­NANT One Hun­dred Lyrics and a Poem Faber & Faber

Chart­ing the Pet Shop Boys’ pro­gres­sion from early, lovelorn rever­ies to suc­cinct, cut­ting artis­tic state­ments, One Hun­dred Lyrics And A Poem of­fers a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into the duo’s song­writ­ing process. Be­fore PSB, Ten­nant worked at Smash Hits by day and toiled over songs by night: his jour­nal­is­tic ex­pe­ri­ence may well be what gives his lyrics that ex­tra sharp­ness which makes them spe­cial. Ten­nant pro­vides per­sonal, back­ground com­men­taries to the song lyrics: these are care­fully mod­u­lated, and they never be­come so ob­tru­sive as to rule out al­ter­na­tive in­ter­pre­ta­tions. Pro­found, satir­i­cal and of­ten dev­as­tat­ing, Ten­nant’s warn­ing that lyrics are made to be heard and not read not­with­stand­ing, this book would work as a col­lec­tion of po­etry.

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