Album Review: Placebo – Battle for the Sun

By on Tuesday, 16th June 2009 at 12:00 pm

Placebo - Battle for the Sun (cover)I loved Placebo. They were the first gig I ever went to (Wembley Arena in November 2004), and, like many of my age, they soundtracked my teenage years. I loved Black Market Music (Special K? Black Eyed? Passive Aggressive? Amazing), I loved Sleeping With Ghosts (English Summer Rain? This Picture? The Bitter End? Special Needs? Great!). I even endured Meds multiple times (Song to Say Goodbye and Space Monkey are okay). However, their latest album, Battle for the Sun, is a bit of a mixed bag of songs.

On the plus side: it’s a return to their anthemic alt-rock, with much of the same lyrics about sex, drugs and low self-esteem that did them so well for their first three albums.

However, it just sounds like a jaded dad reminiscing about old times gone. It’s like they’re writing about the drugs and sex, but not getting any. Like they’re talking about battling self esteem problems, but are really quite happy. It’s all just a bit, well, lacking that youthful exuberance that did them so well before. Granted, full credit to them – they’re not sitting back and counting their money, or doing that “experimental album” that so many bands do, but it’s just lacking a little something that I can’t put my finger on.

I don’t dislike the album. I think the songs are better quality than those of Meds – the songs are stories, they’re anthemic at times. It’s just a bit too over-produced and pristine for my liking – a clinical sense of melancholy.

5.5 out of 10.

Placebo‘s new album, Battle for the Sun is out now. Order it from Amazon here. Read other reviews at MetaCritic. Want a video about how they made the album, and watch them rehearse a bit? Watch below.


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One Response

[…] be honest, Placebo’s new album, Battle for the Sun, is growing on me. At first I hated it, but now it’s really starting to be quite good – Yes, it’s no “Black Market […]

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