Released - 2024
Chart peak - - UK #2, US (not yet charted)

Visitors' rating (plurality): not yet rated
Visitors' rating (rounded average): not yet rated
Wayne's rating: not yet rated

These star-ratings reflect how PSB albums compare to each other—not how they compare to albums by other artists. Remember that an "average" (three-star) PSB album is, at least as far as I'm concerned, an excellent album by pop/rock standards in general.

Released on April 26, 2024, Nonetheless finds the Pet Shop Boys returning to the Parlophone label, which had been their "recording home" from 1985 to 2012. (It appears that their x2 label is still active, however, in that their new recordings appear still to be "owned" by x2 and only "licensed" to Parlophone.) It was produced by British producer/musician James Ford, who before his work with the Pet Shop Boys had helmed albums by dozens of other artists, including Depeche Mode, Kylie Minogue, Blur, Mumford & Sons, Gorillaz, Arctic Monkeys, The Last Shadow Puppets, Florence and the Machine, Little Boots, and Haim. The first single from the album is also its first track, "Loneliness," yet apparently was the last of its songs to be written.

Most of the songs were composed by the Boys during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, from mid-2020 through early 2021, when, like countless others, Chris and Neil were in quarantine "lockdown" mode and therefore collaborated remotely over the internet. Neil has therefore referred to it as their "lockdown album," although he has also intriguingly said it was their "gay album." He has described Nonetheless as a very melodic album in which most of the songs have orchestral accompaniment. He has even gone so far as to suggest that this album somewhat exemplifies "the sound of the Pet Shop Boys: electronics with strings." (Strings on the album were provided by the Elysium Collective, an outgrowth of the famed Elysium Quartet, which often specializes in more modern, avant-garde music.)

While many of the album's tracks are every bit as "danceable" as one would expect from a PSB album, nearly half are of a more "reflective" mood—quite understandably given the unusual circumstances under which they were written. Then again, for the Boys, being danceable and reflective are hardly mutually exclusive. Even the album title itself was inspired by the pandemic. As the Boys told interviewer Laura Snapes for The Guardian, "Nonetheless," they've "carried on and done this"—that is, they wrote these songs and recorded this album in spite of the disease, its lockdown, and its associated disruptions. Nonetheless, the Pet Shop Boys go on.

In addition to its standard single-disc edition, Nonetheless is also available in a special two-CD/vinyl deluxe edition with a bonus four-track EP titled Furthermore. This bonus disc offers brand-new re-recordings of four PSB classics: "Heart," "Being Boring," "Always on My Mind," and "It's a Sin." The Japanese edition also includes one additional song titled "Clean Air Hybrid Electric Bus," which will probably turn up for the rest of the world as a future single b-side.

As for the rather cryptic cover image, the Boys have said that it was completely the photographer's idea. And its meaning? Neil says, "You can find your own meaning in it."

Top Picks by Voter Ratings

  1. not yet rated
  2. not yet rated
  3. not yet rated

Wayne's Top Picks

  1. to be determined
  2. to be determined
  3. to be determined