By Clare McCabe
Released September 13th, 2013 - UMusic
A big welcome back to the melancholy tones of Mr Brian Molko and his pals with their latest (seventh) studio album, Loud Like Love. The album was recorded in London's RAK Studios (the same studio where Meds was recorded) and produced by Adam Noble. Oh and this album is the first one that Molko has recorded sober - or in his words, "This is the first time I have recorded clean and sober. So not being in a narcotic haze may explain why it sounds more emotional."
From the fabulous first track, Loud Like Love, they are straight back to their Meds era (think Song to Say Goodbye) - and it only gets better from there. "Breathe - believe" sings Brian and we sing right along. How does he make the word love have at least three syllables every time he sings it... lo-o-ove?
The angsty lyrics come thick and fast - "knock me off my feet like heroin" Brian croons in Begin The End, a stand-out track right there. Then we have the great whining in Hold On To Me, which leads into a little sermon (with suitable sci-fi backing music). This album is obviously going to get better each time you listen - except for Rob The Bank, which seems to be the only mis-step on the album - doesn't really seem to go with the rest of the lovely whiney tunes - just skip that one and move on.
And then there is Bosco, in which Brian (as is his way) makes the song sound like a ballad while singing lyrics that tell a different story - ie. "how I suck you dry...". All perfectly complimented by the soaring piano from Mr Olsdal.
Interesting fact I found out while researching Placebo - Brian now has a wife. And child. What? Unbelievable but true.
Favourite lyric of the album goes to Too Many Friends - "my computer thinks I'm gay, I threw that piece of junk away". Not a fan of social media then Brian? Check out the video also for this track which is a collaboration with Bret Easton Ellis of all people, fabulously odd and irrelevant and makes no sense, but suits the song and Placebo perfectly.
After the release of Loud Like Love, Placebo returned to USA for the first time in six years in mid-October, playing two sold-out shows in New York and Los Angeles. "To have two sold-out shows, to have this warm reception after six years is really encouraging," Brian told Rolling Stone. "It feels like a rebirth," he said of coming back after four years between albums.
Placebo are currently on a worldwide tour supporting their new album which will bring them down toSoundwave in Australia in Feb/March 2014. See you there.
To sum up, if you are already a fan of Placebo, especially the last two albums, check this one out too as you will be pleasantly surprised that even sober, Brian Molko can still come up with the goods.
4 / 5