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Album Review: Placebo – Loud Like Love

3 min read

Love, love, love. What is it good for? Music, apparently. English rockers Placebo have dedicated their new album Loud Like Love to themes of love and romance. The seventh album for their collection, Loud Like Love takes a more mainstream friendly direction than their previous efforts. This is also the newest record from Placebo since 2009’s number 1 Battle for the Sun.

PlaceboLoudLikeLoveCombining some fast, rock heavy tracks (Rob the Bank, A Million Little Pieces), and lighter emotional songs (Bosco, Begin the End), Loud Like Love has something for everyone.

Beginning with the album’s namesake, Loud Like Love suggests that Placebo will be taking on a slightly new style. Free of the angsty, alternative sound so typical of the trio, this song, which is also the second single released from the album, is an upbeat track which the potential to appeal to the masses. Setting the theme for the record, (“Can you imagine a love that is so proud/ It never has to question why or how?”) the song contains an anthemic chant “We are loud like love” which will surely be a fan favourite when it comes to live shows.

If you are a long-time Placebo fan and were scared off by the mainstream ready Loud Like Love, fear not, as Scene of the Crime sounds as if it could have fit right in on Battle for the Sun, suggesting they haven’t really changed that much.

The first single from this album is the track Too Many Friends, which sings about having friends on the internet. Questionable lyrics (“My computer thinks I’m gay/I threw that piece of junk away”) undermine what is musically a solid track. The album is about different themes relating to love, so I guess cyber love is included!

Hold on to Me is a slower, vulnerable piece which benefits from its understated nature. The song feels simple and not overdone, which is part of its appeal, similar in effect to the verses on Song to Say Goodbye (from Meds, 2006).

Dedicated fans will likely be impressed with Exit Wounds, a classic Placebo style song about lusting over someone who’s with the wrong person (“In the arms of another who doesn’t mean anything to you/….Want you so bad I can taste it/But you’re nowhere to be found”).

The album ends with Bosco, a piano acoustic based ballad seemingly about alcohol abuse getting in the way of an otherwise happy relationship (“I love you more than any man/But something’s getting in the way/When I get drunk you take me home/And keep me safe from harm…I ask you for another second chance/Then I drink it all away”).

Overall, Loud Like Love is impressive though far from Placebo’s best. It is solid lyrically and musically but does nothing to stand itself above their previous successes. Seven albums in the band remain consistent in their sound while taking few risks to entice the mainstream. Consider that a positive or negative thing as you please.

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