Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. 100
    This is an awesome album, almost certainly Placebo's pinnacle, although I'd love to be proved wrong.
  2. While Placebo's latest, Black Market Music, doesn't have any single track as galvanizing as "Pure Morning," Molko, Swedish bassist Stefan Olsdal, and English drummer Steve Hewitt have again crafted a hip-hop-laced collection of hard-driving rock that effectively mixes clever wordplay with solid musicianship.
  3. The album's consistency easily outmatches even the highest watermarks of either predecessor.
  4. Charging rock songs and austere balladry make this album resonate more than the morass of bad music currently plaguing us. [#155, p.80]
  5. Though his voice and attitude crosses Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant's nasally histrionics with Gary Numan's clinical whelp, [Brian] Molko generally keeps his guitar playing tight and tough with Gothic overtones.
  6. 70
    This is a decidedly more rocking Placebo. [#50, p.102]
  7. 60
    Placebo's indie-glam rock fusion still sounds on CD like a good idea, and little more.
  8. Black Market Music feels like a watershed, a merely good record after a great one, and that in itself is disappointing.
  9. Black Market Music loses its sparkle and its melodic sense whenever it grows a conscience.
  10. 40
    Do all of these elements add up to an album that offers something more than the usual steady diet of carefully polished, capably executed, but ultimately unremarkable angst-ridden punk-pop? Answer -- probably not.
  11. Unfortunately, this is not only their weakest album, it's their most confused.
  12. I suppose that the backstreet Black Market Music will endear itself to gender-exploring teenagers who find the girl-on-girl action in Buffy the Vampire Slayer "fucking awesome."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Mar 4, 2013
    my favourite band and my favourite album of all time.Yes even better than without you i'm nothing. Glam rockers placebo emerged back in the mid nineties at the height of britpop era.Whilst there were many copy bands of the likes of oasis and blur,placebo were totally unique.Influenced by bands such as sonic youth,brian molko and the gang made unique angsty songs that people could relate to. A band of outsiders for outsiders i believe Molko quoted and this is true.If you are angsty you are likely to relate to this band. I also think molko is an underated guitarist and uses some weird kind of tunings at times.That coupled with a unique high pitch voice and poetic lyrics,the band is vastly underated.Loved and loathed in equal measure,placebo aren't likely to appear on the front cover of NME again.But who needs NME?.They get it wrong a lot and there top 100 lists are predictable. I will continue to love this band till i die and never forget 'peeping tom' off this record. Full Review »
  2. anna*
    Aug 23, 2003
    This album is so much better than the reviewers would have you think. I love its style - it is darker than the previous two (excellent) records, and Brian, Stef & Steve continue to make fantastic music whilst experimenting and pushing the boundaries. Spite & Malice is a dazzling example of what Nu-Metal ought to have been (yet with a good message), while Commercial For Levi is a twisted little acid lullaby which fully exhibits Molko's highly individual (and pleasant) singing voice and an unusually wiity way with words. Excellent stuff. Full Review »
  3. MichaelL.
    Jun 14, 2002
    hahahahaha 52!! this is the best cd of all time!! all cd of placebo is a masterpiece(and i include single) but the biggest joke in this is that black market music have 52 but the great eminem(i will to say in the same time that eminem is one of the worst in music) have 73!! Full Review »