Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
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  1. Mar 28, 2022
    86
    Never Let Me Go is a fantastic album, and it could even be argued that it’s the most consistent and engaging album of their career – certainly, it’s their most ambitious to date.
  2. 80
    Never Let Me Go feels like an astute observation of our current post-pandemic social climate, as if the current global narrative has finally caught up to that of Placebo's internal monologue. And though the realities of that are pretty bloody bleak, at least we've got an excellent album out of it.
  3. Mar 25, 2022
    80
    Filled with the classic Molko goth-nihilism it’s twinged with as much Nirvana as it is Depeche Mode. Familiar yet fresh, a grower indeed, catchier with each listen.
  4. Mar 25, 2022
    80
    This record is undoubtedly their strongest offering since 2006’s Meds, strengthened by the inclusion of the sort of furious social commentary that made them such heroes to countless kohl-eyeliner-wielding teenagers in the late 90s.
  5. 80
    ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a true renaissance record. It’s no ‘Metal Machine Music’ or ‘Yeezus’, but a record that finds Placebo inspired and ready for a new era, reinventing the rock veterans for the modern age.
  6. Mar 24, 2022
    80
    Deficiencies are rare. When Never Let Me Go calls time on its 13 songs with the exquisitely constructed Fix Yourself, it does so in a manner befitting an album that is overwhelmingly a success.
  7. 80
    Never Let Me Go expands on the disassociation Molko encapsulated for so many misunderstood Nineties teens, applying it now to the entire human species.
  8. Mar 24, 2022
    80
    Despite the overwhelming emotions, Never Let Me Go is an exercise in control and expert execution that finds Placebo on another level of songwriting and point of view, a welcome surprise at this stage in their careers.
  9. 80
    There are sonic surprises: The Prodigal is sheer orchestral euphoria, Sad White Reggae should be called ‘Electrofunk Strutrock, Actually’ and Hugz comes on like RATM raging against the metaverse. But it’s the themes that most intrigue.
  10. Mar 24, 2022
    80
    After years of reflection, this is a steady steep back towards the future.
  11. Mar 24, 2022
    70
    At 13 tracks there is perhaps a little weight that could be shed – at times, ‘Never Let Me Go’ can feel a little indulgent, lacking a certain concise nature, with ‘This Is What You Wanted’ sounding like a flat cousin of Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’. That said, when it hits ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a reminder of how thrilling, and genuinely intoxicating Placebo can be.
  12. Apr 1, 2022
    65
    This won’t be anyone’s favourite Placebo album, but Never Let Me Go is a good solid effort from a band with a considerably lengthy career behind them that hasn’t dropped a record in nearly a decade. So, it’s good to hear that they’re still around and continuing to push themselves, though perhaps just not far enough to be truly remarkable.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Mar 26, 2022
    10
    Absolutely 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 »
  2. Mar 25, 2022
    10
    My favorite band is back and they’re better than ever ❤️‍
  3. Mar 25, 2022
    10
    This 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 »