Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings
Mar 26, 2022Absolutely stunning late career highlight from the most critically underestimated band in Britain. Not their best since Meds -- it's betterAbsolutely stunning late career highlight from the most critically underestimated band in Britain. Not their best since Meds -- it's better than Meds, their best since the sublime Sleeping With Ghosts. Sonically impressive, varied, polished and extremely detailed alt rock that sounds not just true to the history of the band, but also indicative of where this genre of rock can still go. Very delighted to hear the (excellent) experimental single Surrounded By Spies is not the only such song here. Went Missing and Fix Yourself end the album on a double whammy of such chorusless gems. On the poppier end, The Prodigal is Placebo's first Big Strings Song and it makes you glad they didn't do it sooner, saving it for now. It's delicate and striking. I'm not personally a huge fan of NIN and Depeche Mode so the opener Forever Chemicals and third up Hugz that borrow from these bands don't home in on my personal tastes like, for example, the closing duo -- they are solid songs nonetheless. With strikingly muscular guitar landscapes, especially the solos in Hugz. And the sequencing of the first 4 tracks is, as is often the case with Placebo, very sound architecturally. Just the right thing follows the right thing, and Beautiful James sits as track 2 like an uplifting gem.
I knew it was a good sign when Brian Malko said their next will be more experimental back in 2017. We had to wait long and it was better than anyone expected. More of this, please! The sad taste of the pop-at-any-cost Battle For The Sun and Loud Live Love has absolutely washed off. This is Placebo covering new ground and moving forward on their strengths. Gem follows gem in this tracklist. The stratospheric guitars of Twin Demons and the excellent, excellent backing vocals of Chemtrails.
An entire paragraph must be dedicated to bassist Stefan Olsdals' backing vocals here. What a secret weapon in Placebo's arsenal. They uplift and elevate the entire album with their wistful melodic lines, echoing sublimely within the walls of guitar Brian Malko lays around them. Almost every chorus and post-chorus here is raised by Olsdal's honestly just sublime presence. Makes one dream of a mostly Olsdal led track, there in the bright future this band have in front of them in this dark, terrible decade. Far, far from the legacy act they became in the tens.
Lets close on some vindication. An awful lot of those critics who refused to acknowledge the heights Placebo reached in the late nineties and early aughts -- with curiously underpraised albums like Without You I'm Nothing and Sleeping With Ghosts -- were, among other things, also motivated by plain old homophobia. There. Suck it bastards.… Full Review »
Mar 25, 2022This truly may be their greatest album to date, eclipsing even the legendary Without You I'm Nothing. The consistency here is astonishing,This truly may be their greatest album to date, eclipsing even the legendary Without You I'm Nothing. The consistency here is astonishing, while the intricate electronic production sounds both aggressively modern yet also quintessentially Placebo. Almost every track feels like it could've been the lead single; there's no filler here. This is what a contemporary rock record should sound like.… Full Review »