Through You

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2024
Original album - none
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - bonus track with the single "Loneliness"

This song is one of two b-sides/bonus tracks to "Loneliness," the first single from the Boys' 2024 album Nonetheless. A densely synthesized track with an unusually "rough" sound—clearly meant to reflect the confrontational tone of its lyrics, conveyed with correspondingly distorted vocals—"Through You" finds the Boys taking some unnamed person to task for his or her downright wickedness, which they find utterly transparent: "I've seen right through you / I know the true you." The person whom they're addressing takes perverse pleasure in defeating others in life, judging his or her success in terms of the failure of other people:

It’s not enough to succeed
Others must fail
There is your mantra
Bitter and stale
It’s not enough that you win
Others must lose

While it's extremely tempting to believe that Neil and Chris have a specific well-known public figure in mind in these admonitions—and, in fact, I personally suspect they do—such an interpretation is hardly necessary. A great many persons, both well-known and otherwise, exemplify these attitudes. This is especially true in the realms of big business and politics ("The power grabs so bald"). But, then again, we probably all have encountered such persons in our everyday lives. A fundamental irony, of course, is that the very persons addressed in a song like this are somewhat unlikely to hear it or, having heard it, to derive any lessons from it.


List cross-references