Is Pet Shop Boys' New Single "Together" Their Most Disturbing Song Yet?
And now we've got "Together," the brand new single on the Boys' third hits compilation Ultimate. With the song's optimistic refrain "together we'll go all the way," it would seem we have yet another affirmative choon about love and the fearlessness it instills.
But scratch the surface a bit—or, rather, give it a few more listens—and suddenly we start to realize there's something darker lurking in the subtext of Neil Tennant's lyrics than we originally were aware of.
Particularly disturbing is the second half of the chorus:
Together I'll cry with you,
Together I'll die with you,
Together we'll go all the way
On "More Than A Dream," a song from the last Pet Shop Boys album Yes, there's that whole middle part that contains the following lyrics:
Driving through the night
Just you and me
Faster than the pale moonlight
Something is calling, calling us away
Do you believe heaven is a better place
We'll be there in a heartbeat
This always struck me as a veiled reference to suicide—or a suicide pact between two lovers. And "Together," with all of its desperation, seems to be a continuation of that theme.
Now my heart is beating fast
Time is short, the die is cast
The narrator seems to be bent on complete devotion and self-destruction, no matter what the cost: "Anything you want I'll do, I'm gonna need to follow through / Everything I have is yours, I pray you understand because whatever you want to do I'm gonna be with you."
It plays like a more sinister version of Donna Summer's devotional pop anthem "This Time I Know It's For Real," or Sonia's strangely icky stalker fest "You'll Never Stop Me Loving You." The true tip-off that the two people in "Together" are doomed comes with the song's middle eight:
Everything's easy in this state of mind,
The world starts to fade as we leave it behind
And indeed, as "Together" swirls into its climax, a ghostly array of synths build like a spectral chorus, carrying our two characters off to the next world.
I think it's funny that there was the misconception before "Together" surfaced that this was possibly a song about Neil's professional relationship (or the ending of it) with Chris Lowe. To me it's so clear that, lyrically, this is about two people in love who are willing to end their lives for each other.
Is it just coincidence that, musically, "Together" resembles an Adamski (featuring a young Seal) song called "Killer"?
It's creepy. And it's poppy. In other words, it's so very Pet Shop Boys. I mean, come on—if you doubt that "Together" is anything more than a love song, take a look at the single's cover art, which depicts a pair of restraints.
This ain't no "Love Comes Quickly," folks. Or, if it is, it's the Romeo And Juliet brand of amore. Now pass the poison.
Labels: Pet Shop Boys