Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Battle For The Sun takes the best elements of thier sound and focuses it into a cohesive listening experience--there's no filler to be found. [Jul 2009, p.130]
  2. 80
    The result is Placebo's best album since 1998's magisterial "Without You I'm Nothing." [Jul 2009, p.97]
  3. [The album’s final track is] a satisfying conclusion to the band’s best album since 2000’s Black Market Music.
  4. Producer David Bottrill (King Crimson, Tool, Muse) gives Battle for the Sun a lean, sharp sound, stripping away a lot of the synthetic weight that bulked up the group's last few albums.
  5. The band has made records more appealingly outré than this one. Raise the freak flag higher, dudes!
  6. The threesome, along with Tool-producer Dave Bottrill, deliver a brightly focused, 13-track collection that hard-core fans will pan and newbies will adore.
  7. It’s true that in parts Battle For The Sun, Placebo’s [sixth] studio album, will give the open-minded/easily-fooled aspartame butterflies in the stomach, methadone iris dilation and nicotine-patch heart tremors.
  8. Battle for the Sun, the band's sixth album and first with drummer Steve Forrest, is given a steel-reinforced production by David Bottrill, a sound that could conceivably be placed on mainstream rock radio if that format still existed, or if it were used as a vehicle for something else than Placebo's music, which remains resolutely pitched toward a niche audience, no matter how many little frills of horns or farting synths grace their guitar grind.
  9. The bulk is what Placebo term "hard pop": lean, muscular movers shot through with melody. As unfashionable as it may be to say so, there aren't many bands that do it better. [July 2009]
  10. The album may revive the band's career in North America, but for many of their loyal fans it will come as a major disappointment.
  11. A heavier take on their gothic moan-rock.
  12. Battle clearly illustrates efforts at sounding new, and undecided listeners may wonder why those efforts bore sweet moments with little resonance, a sugar pill for Placebo’s new era.
  13. Too many songs are full of bombast and bland angst, as if these smart guys know better but can't help themselves.
  14. 50
    Lacking lyrics as memorable as 2006's "Meds," Battle for the Sun is heavier but duller, with the gap between Molko's spindly melodies and the fatter, newly Americanized riffs widening.
  15. Battle For The Sun feels hazy, lazy and lost--a muggy summer afternoon. Predictable lyrics grate awkwardly like manufactured pop-factory produce, while a ‘nice’ helping of sunshine-synth and sighs paint a chirpy celebration of life and all its hand-clappy beauty. Meh.
  16. 40
    The band utilise new instruments--saxophone, brass and more--in a too-blantant attempt to convince us that they are more than goths. [Aug 2009, p.101]
  17. They've jettisoned just about anything that ever made them perversely enjoyable.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Apr 30, 2014
    The last great placebo album, with a new drummer, & new sound full of greatest song, is the 4th. best album of the band, change style music, change drummer, change evrything, wouldn't be the same in the next years. the last great album of Placebo Full Review »
  2. Sep 13, 2013
    At first listen it was my least favourite Placebo record. Apart from Brian Molko's vocals it just doesn't feel like a Placebo record. It might be the brighter, more positive sound of the record or it might be the strange pop like production. There is definitley a placebo shaped hole in the middle of this album and it just isn't as spikey as other Placebo records. Strangely enough the band re-released the record a year after its initial release in remastered form, a treatment usually reserved for records that are decades old. The remastered version is a marked improvement, with the new mix giving the record a fuller and deeper sound. It has definitely helped me to hear the record in a different light and the more I've listened to it over the last few years the more I like it. I'm still not sure if I would rate it above any other Placebo record but I have decided it is a very decent record, undeserving of the criticism its received. For those who don't like it perhaps try the "redux" (remastered) version. It's definitely a better record. Getting to the songs, they are still different to the traditional Placebo sound being more power chord rock than glam/goth rock. The band obviously tried to go in a different direction with this record and for that should be commended rather than lambasted. There are plenty of excellent tracks on it but perhaps is spread a little too thin at 13 tracks. That said, I can find positives with every track, even "The Never Ending Why", my least favourite track on the record, has a nice dancy chorus. In fact there are several times throughout the album where I'm reminded of the bands cover of Boney M's Daddy Cool, be that a good or bad thing. The worst thing about the album is that lyrically at times it takes itself a bit too seriously, and also the fact that Trigger Happy Hands was omitted from it and included on a bonus disk on a reissued version of the album. For the most part it's a very strong album.  Full Review »
  3. Sep 16, 2011
    It is outstanding how they can still release such a great album. The style has changed a little bit, maybe it's more focused on the vocals than before, but i really didn't mind that. It's still Placebo, but they're doing something a bit different and it's good. There's a lot of energy here and you can't really start naming tracks without listing the whole album. It's a wonderful work, worthy of buying Full Review »