Home and Dry

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2002
Original album - Release
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - Disco 3, PopArt, Ultimate, Inner Sanctum, Smash
Other releases - single (UK #14, US Dance #44)

The first track on and first single from Release, this song introduces that album's new sound for the Boys right off the bat. The instrumental backing is very much that of a "traditional rock group," including real (not synthesized) drums with a steady midtempo beat, a staccato synth ostinato ("music terminology shorthand" for a continuous repetition of a short melodic line consisting of disconnected notes) vaguely reminiscent of the guitar on Police's "Every Breath You Take," a pair of electric guitar solos (gasp!), and a much subtler use of synthesizers and samplers than usual for the Boys. Chris is quite pleased with the fact that he and Neil met the challenge of developing an entire song, with several different melodic threads, around a single riff (the aforementioned ostinato).

The lyrics are quite direct, poignant in their simplicity. They're permeated by a mood of mild anxiety arising from the long-distance separation of lovers and transatlantic airplane flights—a mood that Neil concedes has taken on new weight in the aftermath of September 11, though he wrote the words beforehand. The narrator misses his lover, who is far away on business, and looks forward to the day when he's "home and dry." (The expression "home and dry" is apparently unfamiliar to some; it simply means "safe and sound," with the word "dry" referring to one's being "out of the rain," so to speak.) In the meantime, he eagerly awaits his lover's phone call: "You know I'll be here when you call tonight." There's obviously a high measure of trust between these two, and an air of loving confidence pervades the track.

The bridge (in which those "phone lines" are sung) features digital vocal trickery reminiscent of Cher's "Believe"—a gimmicky element that nevertheless works quite effectively in the context of this song. Chris's spoken "We're going home" near the end of the song is a conscious nod to Paul McCartney's matching spoken words at the end of the Beatles track "Two of Us."



Officially released

Official but unreleased

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