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, itis 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.
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.