I just read your analysis of the track "Beautiful People," in which you said that the string ensemble and harmonica at the end symbolize what the song's about. You don't believe that the Pet Shop Boys actually intended that, do you?

As I state in my rather verbose response to the previous question, intentionality has little to do with it. Let me put it another way. Most people would consider only two possible responses to this question:

I would argue, however, that this is simplistic—even if I indeed do a lot of thinking in the shower. There's a third possibility.

Chris and Neil may not have consciously intended for the instrumental conclusion of the song to symbolize its core meaning. But their profound artistic and aesthetic sensibilities—which have served them supremely well throughout their career—enabled them to make a choice that felt right to them even if they may not have been consciously aware on an analytical level of why it felt right. They just knew it was the right thing to do.

(By the way, this would be true even in the unlikely event that someone else—Xenomania? Johnny Marr?—made that decision. Somebody had that artistic insight. Besides, I'm sure that the Boys had the final say in the matter.)

That, in fact, is often what separates great artists from mediocre ones. Mediocre artists lack that degree of aesthetic sensibility that allows them to make such decisions naturally. Instead they may consciously strive for those types of "artistic special effects," only to have them turn out stilted, forced, and contrived. And even in those cases in which great artists do make such decisions on a conscious, intellectual level—which may indeed be true in this instance—they have the sensitivity and skill to implement their ideas in a much subtler, more natural, more aesthetically pleasing manner.

Whichever is the case—whether they consciously intended it or not—it's there. Either way it demonstrates their great artistry.