You Are the One

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2020
Original album - Hotspot
Producer - Stuart Price
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

The Boys wrote this song in January 2015 during the period leading up to Super. But they decided to hold it back for inclusion on the next album after that, which of course turned out to be Hotspot. Shortly after first composing it they changed its name to "The One I Want," but obviously they changed their mind about the title. They also originally arranged it as a dance track, but then decided to turn it into a ballad.

In Neil's words, it's "a love song to Berlin," but it's also a love song, period. With its tweeting-birds opening and dense, murky production, this intensely romantic number seems in some ways a more sophisticated rewrite of "The Only One" from 1999's Nightlife. It takes as its starting point a lovely summer afternoon in Berlin in which lovers (the narrator and his beloved) enjoy lounging by a lake, enjoying cake in a coffee house, and seeing a film, topped off with a visit to a favorite bar. The resulting refrain couldn't be much simpler:

You are the one I want
The one
You are the one I want
The one

Confident in their love, but acknowledging that a certain sense of "unreality" ("It's like a drug, it's like a dream"), the narrator boldly asserts that they'll "live like this forever and we'll never be apart." He even compares it to "a European film we could have seen." In other words, they're the heroes of their own romance movie, with the sun, birds, and a "spluttering and splattering" fountain supporting players.

In short, "You Are the One" is unusually direct—and, it must be said, unusually optimistic—for a PSB song that wears its emotionalism on its metaphorical sleeve. If anyone ever drones on to you about the "coldness" and ceaseless irony of the Pet Shop Boys, play this one for them. (And you can throw in "It Always Comes as a Surprise" and the aforementioned "The Only One" for good measure.)



Officially released

Official but unreleased

List cross-references