Title: Loud Like Love
Release Date: 16th September 2013
It's been a while that a PLACEBO release hasn't been a real musical event. Even though the quality of their albums or the success of their tour remain more than decent, the band seems to fail re-inventing itself and to propose something really new or at least, surprising. Don't hope the release of the ‘Loud Like Love’ to change anything about it. The previous releases of two EPs last years had me hoping for a more experimental approach (‘Trigger Happy Hands’ and ‘B3’) but – probably because of the EP's commercial failure – as the first song starts, it will clearly not be the case. PLACEBO delivers here a typical... PLACEBO album. No more, no less.
There are the classic PLACEBO stadium anthems such as ‘Loud Like Love’ that promises to be a great live moment (Upbeat, simple guitar arpeggio, typical Molko vocals) - ‘Scene Of The Crime’ or ‘Rob The Bank’ and the potential hit single ‘Purify’. And you have the lower melancholic tracks such as ‘A Million Little Pieces’, ‘Hold On To Me’ or ‘Exit Wounds’. Another mid-tempo one to mention is ‘Too Many Friends’ with some excellent lyrics about social network. This fake illusion of having many friends (“I got too many friends, Too many people that I'll never meet, And I'll never be there for”) and this new world where people locked themselves into their smartphone (“What's the difference anyway, When all the people do all day, Is stare into a phone”).
The very, very U2 alike ‘Begin End’ and its six minutes long is probably one of the only surprising song. The album in its collector version offers a 2nd CD of alternative takes and a non-album track, ‘Pity Party (of One)’. There are not huge differences but some interesting moments here and there. To sum it up ? This album will surely please all of their fans, and will certainly not bring new fans either. Don't get me wrong. It's not a critic in itself. After all, having design an identity, a trademark that makes everyone recognize a Placebo at the second it starts is already a big achievement in itself that not a lot of bands are capable of doing so since ages. The songs are really good, melodies and production are strong. It's just that, at least to me, PLACEBO is in the “big bands” league, like DEPECHE MODE or U2 and could easily afford themselves taking a bit more risks at least on three or four songs. Especially since they proved they were capable of doing so on EP's, B Sides or solo stuff collaborations.
Brian Molkp – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Synths
Stefan Olsdal – Bass, Guitars, Synths, Backing vocals
Steve Forrest – Drums, Backing Vocals
Total: 7 / 10