Album: Pet Shop Boys, Elysium (Parlophone)

If Elysium has a weakness, it is the absolute absence of thumping disco-pop monsters.

Once you accept that, and surrender to the tranquil beauty of Chris Lowe's synth textures, you quickly realise that Neil Tennant is on top lyrical form: "Our love is dead/ But the dead don't go away" is one precision-tooled early couplet, while "Ego Music" viciously satirises vacuous, pretentious artists: "I am my own demographic. What does that say about me?"