Where to start with this one? Hmmmm…well by now just about everyone knows of Placebo, a band that has smashed it’s way through ten years of fighting to hit the mainstream, to become one of the top bands in rock. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the androgynous shock-rock they’ve provoked has hit an all time high with this latest release. Now in my personal opinion, outdoing Sleeping With Ghosts, an amazing effort that contained a raw emotion found on very few releases, just isn’t possible. Yes, this one is amazing, but Sleeping… still hits Placebo’s top mark in my mind.
The theme is very clear, and ties perfectly together with the album title itself. Imagine a narcotic comedown fist fight with an imaginary lover, and there in itself is the main motivation. It’s hard hitting at times, and a little contrived at others, but overall hits a very deep impact which simply shouldn’t be tossed to the side. Words flow like heroine into the vein from Brian Molkos’ passionate and unique phrases. Production is top notch as I knew it would be, less electronic this time however…which I do miss, but the feeling still remains intact through the clever use of layering techniques used on many of the elements throughout and a couple tracks do bring that key sound in again here and there.
A few tracks shine much brighter than others, and a couple major standouts will soon be sung by thousands of mascara soaked faces in total ecstasy, as nail polished iPods will soon find their top plays speaking Placebo quite clearly. First major strike of gold lies within “Infra-Red,” which contains 3:15 seconds of nothing but audible addiction. I found myself looping this one over and over, and I know the trend is continuing everywhere, as this one is quite a keeper. It’s gritty, powerful, and strikes a chord in emotion which will drop anyone to the floor. Sadly, I found myself skipping a track titled “drag” every time to dive back into some more grit and grime after giving the disc a few full listens. “Space Monkey” became a favorite, with its droney, sexy approach, and others, like “Follow The Cops Back Home” and “Blind” turned me on with their gorgeous lyrical content and deep emotional vibes. Another interesting track lays a few more deep titled “Broken Promise”, which contains some harmonies from Michael Stipe. A simple, but powerful drag-down, smash your face in song, which contains an interesting musical style. Michael doesn’t really shine so to speak, but he just fits in so perfectly with Molko…it’s scary. Influences sure show their face here.
To finalize the experience, “One of a Kind” hits a huge “I gotta hear that again” feeling. It’s definitive Placebo, and truly is one of a kind in its approach. Very simple musically once again, but just friggin’ huge as hell. And yes! The keys find their way in on this one, and they make me fall in love once again with their overall sound. The final 2 tracks are good, but not my faves. They fit well with the theme itself, but just don’t do it for me. I found myself hitting track 2 to listen to “Infra-Red” again instead of letting them play out, but yes, they are good, so don’t worry. You’ll most likely love them.
Overall I’d for sure tell ya to buy this. It’s worth the cash if you’ve been following Placebo up until now, and could bring in a new level of fans who may not have given the band a full look. While Meds isn’t the best, it is addictive like many chemicals seem to be, and will for sure leave you with withdrawals if you stop listening to it for too long. Don’t kick the habit too early.