Placebo - 'Never Let Me Go' Album Review
1. Forever Chemicals 2. Beautiful James 3. Hugz 4. Happy Birthday In The Sky 5. The Prodigal 6. Surrounded By Spies 7. Try Better Next Time 8. Sad White Reggae 9. Twin Demons 10. Chemtrails 11. This Is What You Wanted 13. Fix Yourself
I still remember hearing 'Nancy Boy' for the first time and being blown away by it, it was clear this band were a major new talent. I honestly can’t believe it’s been 26 years since then and that it’s been almost 10 years since Placebo released a new album. When you come back with something that sounds this good, this relevant, this fresh you have to ask why did they wait so long?
So what is it like, it’s stuffed full of pulsating riffs and percussion, it has a lot of dark themes, loss, longing, fear of the future, alienation but there is also some hope, some feeling that maybe the war isn’t lost yet. Brian’s lyrics and singing are tremendous, the arrangements are spot on and the overall feel is of an stirring, evocative and genre leading Rock album.
This is the best new music they’ve released since 'Pure Morning'. It’s visceral at times, at others gentle and comforting but it’s never less than a full on aural assault on your senses. It draws you in, slaps you around the head a few times, puts an arm around your shoulders then makes you want to give up before ultimately making you want to fight, to try to wake up and do it better.
Is there an obvious single? No, there’s about 6, usually I have no problem picking favourite songs on any album I review, I really struggled with this one, even the couple of songs which aren’t quite as fully developed or the lyrics aren’t quite as good are still better than a lot of new music I’ve listened to this year.
I don’t know how long this album has been gestating for but it has a feel of an album that has been loving crafted over a long period of time. If anything it has a bit of a feel of a debut album from a fresh new exciting band who have been building to this point for some time, a rebirth for Placebo? Outstandingly so!
If it was up to me and not my editor I would say this should be our album of the month never mind year!
Buy it, turn it up, sit back and be prepared to be blown away.
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Review - Iain McClay