Placebo
Black Market Music


4.5
superb

Review

by Adri/Reverse Perpendiculars USER (20 Reviews)
August 20th, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: But I don't care for myself

Somewhere after or in-between the following that rose after Placebo’s ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ and the day Brian Molko was saved by sound technician Levi Tecofski from drunkenly walking straight into traffic, Placebo’s output took a complex turn. It took nine months to record and finishBlack Market Music, only to end up looking like a complete photo-negative of the former. The mildly hopeful “Pure Morning” is now the relationally regretful and self-deprecating “Taste in Men,” “Every You Every Me” is now the broken-home special “Black-Eyed” with the story of Molko growing up, and the wavering punk anthem of “You Don’t Care About Us” is now “Slave to the Wage,” a song that is meant to speak to people that are stuck in a menial job and bored with their life to get out and escape. However the band that once played the almost fetishistic ‘Nancy Boy’ crossdressed on stage with a uniquely tuned guitar, a left handed drummer, and a bass player that shook his butt, is now diving head-first deep into playing a dark and depressing record. Brian’s wiry vocals experiment alongside hip-hop artist Justin Warfield for the standout angst of “Spite and Malace,” and he admits to his drug addictions more openly on “Special K,” a.k.a. the slang term for Ketamine.

Placebo's introverted sound separates the band from others in the genre, “Blue American” is a somber tribute, "for all the times she showed me wrong, for all the times she sang God's song". The sincerity is there even when it's rough, and the bitter taste is a problem that was never solved. Placebo retains the wondrous self-deprecating vocals without bringing the dreadful ‘emo’ slang into play. Placebo have had unfortunate events of course, and at least they present them with honesty and capability. ”Slave to the Wage” is a sense apart from the rest, acting as a “song with a message” to those dreading the 9-to-5 job, and the working class that works itself into an early grave.

Musicians will often state that the best thing to do for your album is to place the better tracks towards the front of your album (or at least the ones you want them to hear first). This way, people will hear the better material first and crave more, rather than never committing to listening to the rest because the opener was too dull. Placebo certainly took that to heart, placing their two weaker songs – either unfinished or unpolished - to the back of the album. Here is where Black Market Music seems to go astray. "Haemoglobin" repeats its own title a number too many, and with an apathetic vocal line, the song is too tender to have been at the record's front. It is however the kind of song that diehard fans will favorite and swoon over when considering the melodies that arc the lines "now my feet don't touch the ground" that carry it as one of the most paralyzing pieces of their career. The remaining melodies and parts in the song are still solid, and the backup vocals are impressive at least. "Narcoleptic" trades repetitive vocals for a lukewarm aura, and it is comfortable being too low to the ground to where the result is worth little effort for it to sink in. For those who enjoyed every song up to this point, "Narcoleptic" will no doubt be a dream song. Often, Black Market Music is taken a bit too brash by those who critiqued it as a clash of sounds attempting to make an above average album. It's important to note that Black Market isn't immature. Placebo have maturely created impenetrable set of music with subtle hooks and carefully placed signature moves. It never stands out as ‘holier than thou’ and it maintains a special place in the scene for those who have truly had a troubled past and do not demand attention. If Without You I'm Nothing isn't their magnum opus, then this is easily their strongest accomplishment and their most harrowing set of songs.



Recent reviews by this author
Ghost Culture Ghost CultureCrystal Castles Crystal Castles II
Dream Theater AwakeDream Theater Octavarium
Primus Green NaugahydeQueensryche Empire
user ratings (356)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
The Ashtray Girl (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
August 20th 2011


8686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Screw it, I'm going summary-less.

I know theres at least 5 of you Placebo fans lurkin' about regularly.

Digging: Midori - Second

Dreamflight
August 20th 2011


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That was a nice read for sure.



This is Placebo's finest album imo.

Goatlord
August 20th 2011


405 Comments


My ex-girlfriend used to listen to these guys A LOT.

DeadStarShine
August 20th 2011


778 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pos'd for acclaiming the album. It's awesome.



You should correct this though:



[b]Passive Aggressive[/i]


Parallels
August 20th 2011


8686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was just re-proofreading it and I didn't even notice. Thanks

iFghtffyrdmns
August 20th 2011


7047 Comments


good review sonic, i'm not all that much into alt rock though so I doubt i'll be checking this. One thing worth fixing, you got a little repetitive near the end of the review"
"...tends to grow out of place. Haemoglobin tends to repeat its own title a number too many, and with an apathetic vocal line, the song is too tender to have been at the record's front. The remaining melodies and parts in the song are still solid, and the backup vocals are impressive at least. Narcoleptic tends to suffer from similar tendencies. The song trades repetitive vocals for a lukewarm aura, and it [b]tends to[b] enjoy being..."

I would just fix that and change some of the word choice around, cause it does read a little dull in that part with all the repetition. Either way, nicely done with the write up.

Parallels
August 20th 2011


8686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fixed it, thanks for the heads up.

bloc
August 20th 2011


36937 Comments


Used to listen to this band a lot

Digging: Propaganda - A Secret Wish

bakkermaarten007
August 20th 2011


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You nailed it. Good review. Now If only you could review 'Without You I'm Nothing' and give it the attention it deserves by giving it a 5

bakkermaarten007
August 20th 2011


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

iFghtffyrdmns, Placebo leans towards emo rock, especially their first three albums could be categorized in the Punk section.

foreverendeared
August 20th 2011


14678 Comments


"emo rock"

lol okay never listening to this guy again

bakkermaarten007
August 20th 2011


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get a grip, Brian Molko's lyrics are very dark and the instrumentals are very 'punk' (lol, don't know

how to explain it). But Placebo is an obsession of mine, they have made my expectations in music that

much higher, I'm very critical towards bands thanks to them.



btw: "Placebo retains the wondrous self-deprecating vocals without bringing the dreadful ‘emo’ slang

into play."

I would like to state that it is due to Brian Molko's wonderful songwriting, other lyricists can't

express themselves that way without using that 'dreadful emo slang'. The guy is pretty smart, you

should listen to some interviews.

foreverendeared
August 20th 2011


14678 Comments


Did you just tell me to get a grip after you called this "emo rock?"

bakkermaarten007
August 20th 2011


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh dear, 'leans towards'... Placebo is my top played artist, I should know.

foreverendeared
August 20th 2011


14678 Comments


Exactly, you should know.

Acanthus
August 20th 2011


9808 Comments


"Running Up That Hill" is the only track I have by these guys, it's a straight 5.

bakkermaarten007
August 20th 2011


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whatever, I'm gonna stop it here. I can see where this is going.

Acanthus, Running Up That Hill is nice, but what you should try is 1. Without You I'm Nothing (WITHOUT

David Bowie) 2.My Sweet Prince 3. Leni 4.Blind 5. The Bitter End

You're welcome =)

foreverendeared
August 20th 2011


14678 Comments


Lets just go with this: you read this was "emo rock" by Rolling Stone 3 years ago and decided that they must be right. There is NOTHING emo about Placebo.

bakkermaarten007
August 20th 2011


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Foreverendeared, please stop it already. I never read Rolling Stone in my entire life. I look for music via my own methods, I tend to neglect music that's been praised by numerous media.

foreverendeared
August 20th 2011


14678 Comments


It was just a general example. Just don't call this emo rock m'kay?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2016 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy