Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I Don't Like You Any More, You Lying Trying Waste Of Space

Placebo – Meds

You know, I had absolutely no idea that Placebo had a new album out. I guess never listening to the radio can have a downside. After I got their first album a few weeks ago and was underwhelmed, and found their last release Sleeping with Ghosts a bit of a disappointment, I was surprised to find that I was still pretty excited to hear this new album.

Musically Meds continues to develop in a similar direction as their last few albums. The more or less straight up three piece grunge of their first album has been joined by string sections on the slow songs, and a touch of electronica on most tracks. The emotional tone of their albums has continued to develop in a linear fashion as well, the teenage 'I hate myself' angst of the self titled and Without You I'm Nothing have given way to sadness, mostly directed at others rather than internally.

The lyrics of Meds spend a lot of time dwelling on a relationship that failed due to the substance abuse of the other. This is pretty good material for some intense music, but I'm sad to say that most of the album is fairly straight forward and unexciting rock. Not bad and certainly catchy but lacking anything to make it truly memorable. A few tracks stand out however, 'Space Monkey' has a cold unearthly vibe which gives its surreal imagery a unique twist. Plus it's about a monkey. The final two tracks are both excellent as well. 'The Cold Light of Morning' is about as sad as songs come and will no doubt hit a chord with anyone who's ever found themselves wasted at 10am on a Sunday and realising that the party is over and you have to sober up. 'A Song to Say Goodbye' is another classic, with a more upbeat melody contradicting the sad story told by the lyrics (basically 'I'm through with you, you fucked up junkie') and somehow making it that much more poignant.

So while these guys are still capable of some great stuff and even though the tracks that don't live up to those standards are still worth listening to, this album is no return to the quality of Without You I'm Nothing and Black Market Music, and it seems like they're treading water a little. Placebo have always lacked a certain element of intensity in their performance and it seems to be getting worse rather than better. Maybe they need to take more drugs...

1 comment:

Joel said...

"A Song to Say Goodbye" is the one I saw the video for. It had a little kid putting his unresponive Dad in a mental home...