On the day we finally get to see the premiere of the Russell T. Davies drama of the same name, you have to hear this reimagining of a Pet Shop Boys classic by cast member Olly Alexander and his group Years and Years.
You might expect based on the bands usually upbeat, euphoric output that they might have matched the disco vibes of the original or even gone bigger, brasher and bolder. Instead, this is a stripped back piano version that forces you to consider the lyrics more then you perhaps ever have before.
It’s a lyric that most queer people can probably in some respect relate to - the idea that what they were taught is ‘correct’ is something that they didn’t live up to, and that as a result the life decisions they ended up taking were those to be ashamed of. That the Yellow Brick Road they eased on down was the ‘wrong’ one based on heteronormative societal standards, and that even though these choices were the ones necessary to be made to be authentic, they were at the same time, sins.
If anyone is reading this and still feels that way, please know, being your authentic self is the most ‘correct’ decision you can make, and other people’s opinions are merely that.
It sits in Olly’s vocal sweet spot, he sounds beautiful against the simple piano backing in what must rank as one of Years and Years most melancholic moments. There’s a real honesty here too, even though we know he didn’t write the lyrics, there’s a distinct connection to them. Everything is impeccably done.
We stay very excited for the series this evening and this stunning lead in is a lovely little bonus.
For fans of: Sam Smith in their ballad days, a lyric with real meaning, holding up a mirror to the past then crying.