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September 12, 2013

Music Review || Placebo's 'Loud Like Love'

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I've been a fan of Placebo almost since they formed. I wasn't a fan of alternative music yet in 1995, and it was really after 'Pure Morning' from 'Without You I'm Nothing' that I became hooked. I remember giggling to myself when everyone went crazy about 'Every You, Every Me' after it appeared in the film 'Cruel Intentions' because the song wasn't new to me.

What I like most about the band is the depth of emotion in the lyrics and the sounds. The music is always intriguing to me as well - I always feel like there's an alternate meaning that is hidden and beyond words or description.

Another aspect of their music that I enjoy is that it doesn't really change. Certainly there are nuances of dissonance from album to album, but the Placebo style hasn't changed.

With the British band's latest album, the signature sound is still there, and still addictive. But this album has a depth of feeling to it that is so far unparalleled, and there is also a clarity to the singing, which is, apparently because lead singer Brian Molko sang them while sober for the first time ever. He told News.com.au that being out of a narcotic haze helped with the clarity, while the lyrics are also the most 'confessional' he's ever written.

I know I've been harping on about Placebo's signature style, and in this album, their sound is much more intense, as they've made spectacular use of their entire repertoire of musical talent. The two founders, Molko and Stefan Olsdal, were both trained at the American International School of Luxembourg after all. The piano work in 'Bosco' is inspiring and emotional, and there's also a healthy dose of modern sound effects to freshen up the sound.

I think, like their other six albums, that Placebo will remain a band that isn't really the trend (what with Miley Cyrus' pop antics, could 'normal' alternative music ever compete?) but I believe they've already made their way into the annals of rock music that will always be remembered for its originality. After all, rock is the source of all pop culture today - maybe the reality rock represents will eventually seep into the hearts and minds of the children of the pop world.

The video for their first single from the album is just as unique as the band itself. 'Friends Like These' is narrated by Brett East Ellis, who wrote the book 'American Psycho', which is one of my favourite films. The song is about our networked world, where we have so many friends, but hardly any relationships. Check it out; I think it's pretty awesome! Let me know what you think!

{Image credit: By Vento Di Grecale (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons}

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