Being old is a bitch, especially for pop stars

The new Pet Shop Boys single, “Invisible”, continues to explore their fascination with the pop process itself, this time from the point of view of a former star who continues to work but finds himself ignored by the younger generation. From anyone else, this song might be full of self-pity and woe, maybe anger; from PSB you get resignation, a touch of alienation, and acceptance tinged with remorse and self-doubt. You also get—at least this is my take on first listen—one of the best records they’ve made in years. The grandeur of decay has been one of their main themes for close to two decades; now they wear it like a second skin, and it suits them. The album, Elysium, comes out in September.