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placebo neverletmego
Artist: Placebo
Title: Never Let Me Go
Genre: Alternative / Wave / Rock
Release Date: 25th March 2022
Label: So Recordings

Album Review

“Why does it always take so long, until the world gets a new PLACEBO album?” I thought, when I had given their latest release ‘Never Let Me Go’ a first spin. Who, if not PLACEBO is capable to give all those feelings and thoughts a home, that result from being caught in the almost endless loops of lockdowns during a global pandemic, times where socializing takes place mostly in the digital space offering haters a new platform to spread their negative feelings and living in an environment that shows us, what happens if we abuse planet earth?

When PLACEBO became famous, the cold war was about to come to an end and those who had grown up in those challenging times found a home in the music that combined all kinds of Alternative elements and the beautiful lyrics Brian Molko wrote and performed, gave many the feeling, that there was somebody out there, who understood. “Does this still apply?” you might ask yourself. And the simple answer is “Yes!”, but if you are looking for the 90s feeling PLACEBO gave you, you might be disappointed sound-wise, not lyric-wise, but give the album a chance and you will see, that the “PLACEBO feeling” is still there.

The album opens with ‘Forever Chemicals’ that sounds almost like Post-Punk and comes with a cool 80s vibe that is induced by a digital loop, just to lead over into a wonderful layer of sounds until Brian’s voice reassures you, that this is PLACEBO. ‘Beautiful James’ is a wonderful Pop song, that perfectly fits to nowadays fight for tolerance by a new generation and the progress they made. ‘Hugz’ is a very energetic song a teenager Punk-Rock band could have recorded and to sing about hugs in a time, where experts tell you, that social distancing might be better for you and your heart and soul are crying out “No!”, is something that PLACEBO stand for, finding words and music, for topics that torment your heart and your soul.

You might have realized, that there are synths in every song so far and this gives the song a wonderful Alternative and also slightly 80s prone vibe since the author loves THE SISTERS OF MERCY and their use of synths, PLACEBO got the chance to prove that the SISTERS are not the only ones who can give synths a home in many ways. ‘Happy Birthday in the Sky’ is one of the best songs on the album. The clear guitar intro, the drums that come in and Molko’s voice give it a clear and reduced aspect. The lyrics deal with people in the sky, who are not among us anymore and moments we can’t share with them. ‘The Prodigal’ is one of the most interesting songs on the album, as it comes with full orchestration and people being used hearing Brian’s voice underlaid by an electronic music and instruments, will be surprised, how good the contrast works.

Brian Molko has the ability to write lyrics that comes with so many topics and emotions, that many find aspects of their lives and ideas in the songs, but ‘Surrounded by Spies’ is a very direct one and really makes you think about everything around you, things you use to make your life easier, while others use this information to make money or influence your decisions. A song that gathers more and more importance during times, where wars are not only fought ion the battlefields but also in the world wide web and all kinds of media.

The next song ‘Try Better Next Time’ also comes with a clear message and deals with the costs of our wasting the resources mother nature has given us and the bitter consequences for the planet and future generations. I felt quite sad, when I listen to the songs, because back 1995 a musician called MICHAEL JACKSON has published a song called ‘Earth Song’ and it seems that during the past 27 years mankind has not learned a thing, so PLACEBO decided to remind us with harsher words “Wake up! Wake Up!” and advises us “Somebody take a picture before it’s too late.” While the lyrics are underlaid with what sounds almost like good mood Garage Rock and that hit’s a nerve, we joyously live on, while we destroy, what keeps us alive.

Don’t mistake ‘Sad White Reggae’ for anything like a Reggae song, this is a song that comes with a hard synths intro and intense drums, as soon as the lyrics hit, they come with an unusual loudness while the synths create a quite unnerving background. Finally, some electric piano takes over and underlay the anger driven lyrics about abandonment. Until those unnerving synths reoccur and keep the anger alive, definitely not the best song on the record. ‘Twin Demons’ comes with great riffing and will be a wonderful live song for sure for it resembles ‘Special K’ a bit and that was always one for the masses. A song that sounds as if the band has been experimenting with all the abilities of the synths is ‘Chemtrails’, that starts with a guitar intro and then is completely taken over by upbeat synths and drums. A perfect song for driving home after a night in the clubs or a at a festival, for it’s really spheric or the Alternative dancefloor.

Towards the End the songs get moodier and remind the listener, that PLACEBO headlined the planets most important Goth events many times. ‘This Is What You Wanted’ is a wonderful soft song with a beautiful piano line and PLACEBO at their best in the authors books. ‘Went Missing’ is a bit more intense and the spoken words Molko uses to delivers the main lyrics give the song a wonderful intensity, while the parts that he sings in his high trademark voice shows a deep longing. The bridge parts show the layers of sounds and make it a wonderful song for the Goth clubs around the world. The band sees you off with ‘Fix Yourself’ a song, you could place on any of the previous releases. A timeless song that deals with quite current topics, finding Molko brooding about life aspects to finally confront the listener with “Go fix yourself instead of someone else”.

The record is not all “typical” PLACEBO for it comes with a wide range of styles, so if you are looking for the sound of your youth, listen to the old records. If you want to hear what PLACEBO have to say about the current state of the world and are curious for the sound wise direction, they decided to take to underline their message, you will love the record for sure. If you are just longing to hear Brian's voice and his wonderful lyrics, rest assured that his voice aged in grace and you will find an inspiring and consoling record. The approach PLACEBO took lyric and music wise will make this record a timeless classic amongst the classics the band has already established.


01. Forever Chemicals
02. Beautiful James
03. Hugz
04. Happy Birthday in the Sky
05. The Prodigal
06. Surrounded By Spies
07. Try Better Next Time
08. Sad White Reggae
09. Twin Demons
10. Chemtrails
11. This Is What You Wanted
12. Went Missing
13. Fix Yourself


Brian Molko - vocals, guitars
Stefan Olsdal - bass


Cover Picture

placebo neverletmego


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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