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Smile If You Dare: Politics and Pointy Hats with the Pet Shop Boys

£7.99 £4.00

A creative analysis of the band’s fifth album Very, Smile If You Dare examines topics as diverse as technological paradise, sexual paranoia and representations of class in British pop music.

 

As well as a keen critical edge, it is equipped with an undisguised mad love for the source material, a sense of passionate abandon induced by the tragic/ecstatic synth-pop that pours out of the speakers. In an attempt to uncover the heart of this technicolour record, Smile If You Dare rummages frantically through an impossible orange room, an aeroplane, a gaming arcade, an East End council flat and the beaches in California. It is also a partial history of AIDS, the recording industry, homelessness in London and the doomed but rapturous search for the gay utopia.

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Ramzy Alwakeel

Ramzy Alwakeel is a British newspaper journalist. He was born in 1988 and encountered the Pet Shop Boys somewhat prematurely on Top of the Pops as a small child. His work has appeared in the Evening Standard and the electronic music journal Dancecult. He lives in London with his boyfriend and a large collection of twelve-inch records from the 1990s. He cannot drive.

Authors

  • Ramzy Alwakeel

    Ramzy Alwakeel is a British newspaper journalist. He was born in 1988 and encountered the Pet Shop Boys somewhat prematurely on Top of the Pops as a small child. His work has appeared in the Evening Standard and the electronic music journal Dancecult. He lives in London with his boyfriend and a large collection of twelve-inch records from the 1990s. He cannot drive.

"As well as a keen critical edge, it is equipped with an undisguised mad love for the source material, a sense of passionate abandon induced by the tragic/ecstatic synth-pop that pours out of the speakers."

The Wire

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