A Different Point of View

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1993
Original album - Very
Producer - Pet Shop Boys, Stephen Hague
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

The narrator's relationship with his lover has deteriorated to the point that they can hardly agree about anything—they now seem to argue simply for the sake of arguing. No matter how hard the protagonist tries to patch things up, even bending over backwards to accommodate his lover's apparently contrary ways ("If I said black was white, you'd say it was gray!"), he fails. So, with devastating understatement, he shrugs his shoulders and says, "You've got a different point of view." In short, he's trying his best to dismiss their disagreements and salvage what he can of their relationship. One can't help but feel that this strategy, too, is doomed to failure.

Although it's almost always tempting to side with the narrator, who takes the role of protagonist in a song like this, we shouldn't be hasty to take sides. As one of my site visitors has rightly pointed out, the very line that I quote above—"If I said black was white, you'd say it was gray!"—could be interpreted not as an attempt by the narrator to be accommodating, but rather as his being totally unreasonable. After all, black isn't white! And his lover's imagined suggestion of gray may not be mere contrariness but instead an attempt to reach compromise. As Neil does time and time again in his lyrics (such as in the case of "Jealousy"), the "protagonist" may be equal parts antagonist. It does take two to argue.

At any rate, despite the song's downbeat theme, the music is anything but depressing. In fact, this stylistically exuberant track was at one time seriously considered as a candidate for single release, but somebody (probably Neil and Chris themselves) decided against it. In truth, Chris has said that he never particularly liked this song himself.

List cross-references