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Title: Battle for the Sun
Artist: Placebo
Genre: Indie Rock
Release Date: 5th June 2009
Label: Pias UK

Album Review

Only one week after fielding the single ‘For What It’s Worth’ which already gave a promising foretaste, the sixth PLACEBO album ‘Battle for the Sun’ is going to hit international stores and can hopefully live up to the expectations raised.

It may not be the fastest opener for an album but ‘Kitty Litter’ has power under the surface and the dynamic drumming of new band member Steve Forrest adds a good kick to the PLACEBO sound. On other fronts everything stays pretty much the usual way with Olsdal banging out hammer riffs to complement with Brian Molko’s special vocals. ‘Ashtray Heart’ not only is the next track’s name but also the band’s former name before changing to PLACEBO. The song is an anthemic, straight piece of rock. The riffs walls are so wide and melancholic that you’d like to drown within them right now. The title track begins with a halting, somewhat playful drum section and one characteristic, in particular Brian repeating certain words in the verse lyrics over and over becomes apparent but this time it doesn’t disturb me like it would usually do. But I’m drifting away from the topic. The song goes through various tempos and moods letting the band members play out their tricks. The most poignant moment for me is the part when Molko delivers the chorus accompanied by keys. That sounds so brilliant!

‘Devil in the Details’ opens with darkened synth layers and subsequently drumming, keeps up that gloomy mood and then starts through hell for leather as soon as we’re crossing the threshold to the chorus. ‘Bright Lights’ on the contrary sounds almost sunny. Just as if someone’s finally found a way back into life and the melody riding along with the guitars is so damn catchy that one’s tempted to whistle along with it. What you’ll hear first when ‘Julien’ starts sounds like a dance beat from a disco. But PLACEBO wouldn’t be PLACEBO if they would just bore you to death with such an arrangement and so they’re turning the thing into a highly dramatic anthem that is not stingy with opulent string passages giving you one goose bump shower after the next. Speaking of that; the same is going to happen to you with the album’s closer ‘Kings of Medicine’ with which they even go one better by adding once again wind instruments only with a higher intensity than before. But even without them the song makes up the most emotional minutes of the album and is one to raise the lighters on a live show and sing the chorus in unison “Don’t leave me here / To cast through time / Without a map or road sign…”

I’ll make it a short summary, I promise. ‘Battle for the Sun’ shows a band on the momentary pinnacle of their work and the fresh accents by Steven Forrest have done only good to the overall sound. That said one just feels and hears that the musicians had joy in what they’re doing. Buy it! It’s definitely worth the money!


01. Kitty Litter
02. Ashtray Heart
03. Battle for The Sun
04. For What It's Worth
05. Devil in the Details
06. Bright Lights
07. Speak In Tongues
08. The Never - Ending Why
09. Julien
10. Happy You're Gone
11. Breathe Underwater
12. Come Undone
13. Kings of Medicine


Brian Molko - Vocals, Guitar, Keys
Stefan Olsdal - Bass, Guitar, Keys
Steve Forrest - Drums

Website /

Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10


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