Placebo
Loud Like Love


4.0
excellent

Review

by dupuisj8 USER (11 Reviews)
September 17th, 2013 | 24 replies


Release Date: 09/16/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For all its tough to swallow, high reaching feel, Placebo have constructed another worthy entry to their decades-spanning catalogue.

For all its tough to swallow, high reaching feel, Placebo have constructed another worthy entry to their decades-spanning catalogue with their seventh LP Loud Like Love. Frontman Brian Molko, bassist Stephan Osdal and drummer Steve Forrest (competently replacing Steve Hewitt Post-Meds) give fans and newcomers alike a modern take on their sound while only scarcely showing their age. Now, I’ll admit up front that I actually enjoyed Battle for the Sun, though I can acknowledge where their departure of sound compromised many fans going into that album. The follow up Loud Like Love sees the sexually questionable trio settling into a heartfelt and enjoyable middle ground with their modernized alt-rock sound. It’s something that plays closer to a modern reimagining of Sleeping With Ghosts than the direction things were going with the B3 EP.

Opening with the title track ‘Loud like Love’, we’re lead in with a delight of a riff, and it’s so specifically Placebo. Wearily, this dives head first into a nearly trademarked stadium filler echoing off of 2009’s Battle for the Sun, but with ‘Scene of the Crime’ the band finds it’s more experimental groove and things really take off. ‘Rob the Bank’ perhaps charges a little too headfirst into a political jam but it ultimately surfaces with some solid instrumentation bolstered by a political backdrop. ‘Million Little Pieces’ is one of the real standouts here however, transitioning the album into its harder hitting latter half.

At only ten songs, Loud Like Love keeps itself tight and consistent throughout. The depth in Placebo’s sound comes not through its production, but through Brian Molko’s lyrical work; he simply outdoes himself. While he seems so eager to ignore what critics have to say about him in ‘Too Many Friends’, the themes radiating through tracks like ‘Hold on to Me’ and ‘Million Little Pieces’ are poignantly self-aware. And playing to its benefit, the album is produced clearly, with each lyric audible above the booming sound written to compliment.

‘Begin the End’ and ‘Bosco’ close off the album with brilliant execution. As the album plummets to its soft confession and in the final verses it’s hard to not feel as if the bright colors splashed across the album artwork deceive us from the much darker undertone. Looking closer, there’s more under the surface of this album than appears at first listen. It would be easy to label Loud Like Love as Placebo aging into obscurity but the truth is that this offering is something much more fresh.

The bittersweet legacy of Placebo continues strong with Loud Like Love, though it probably won’t do much for exhausted fans. I do believe however, that bands evolve and grow over time, and though those evolutions may often put off their oldest followers, it shouldn’t negate who the band is. It shouldn’t be that in order to enjoy a band you must to subscribe to all the directions they choose in their sound. Placebo nevertheless finds a way to challenge its listener to feel their sound, for better or worse. This is what ultimately creates the division of those that will either love this album or hate it. But to undying fans and newcomers alike, I highly recommend Loud Like Love as a true to form offering from a group that finds a way to breathe new life into their old sound without compromising what makes them so uplifting to so many people.



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user ratings (86)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Didge Dunn (3.5)
Placebo's evolution continues ever strong, and this album screams 'Sleeping with Ghosts' on various ...

heavenstomurgatroyd (2.5)
an idfk/5...

H. (2.5)
Another disappointing Placebo record that signals an important question for them: where do they go f...


Comments:Add a Comment 
cataraphact
September 17th 2013


9 Comments


I like this review. I always liked that one album with the two girls on it; I'll try this new one out sometime.

Pheromone
September 17th 2013


3788 Comments


Nice review, I'm yet to listen to this album but if the singles are anything to say then I reckon it'll be a good'n

Digging: Kid Loco - A Grand Love Story

RadicalEd
September 17th 2013


2761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

My computer thinks I'm gay.

Worst. Song. Ever.

bloc
September 17th 2013


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not liking this

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

ksoflas
September 17th 2013


443 Comments


Nicely written.
Have a pos.

Amaya
September 17th 2013


1 Comments


"we’re lead in with a delight of a riff"
Small typo there, nice review though!

Been a Placebo fan for a long time but I feel their best album has been Meds. All the classic hits came earlier from earlier albums but none of them are as good a listen from start to finish. Not really digging this album at first brush.

astrololee
September 18th 2013


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Easily the best song on the new album is "Hold On To Me" followed by "Exit Wounds", then "Scene Of The Crime" and then "Rob The Bank"...these are the stand outs!
Love the new album...a hard look at love and all its' nuances. Brian's voice is a good as ever, more matured which gives an added attraction, credit to him and easily the album is stellar in the fact that I can understand every word he is singing on this one....although can someone more clever than I, transcribe the words he speaks after singing the verses of "Hold On To Me" I would be eternally grateful!
I'm giving it a 4/5 as I didn't think anything would come as close as "Black Market Music"!!

bakkermaarten007
September 18th 2013


3655 Comments


The image of Placebo in my head is shattered enough as it is to let myself listen to this new album. Old Placebo>>>>>>new Placebo

xAshtrayux
September 18th 2013


85 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I like the review, even though I don't agree with the high rating.
You did great job highlighting the record's strong points.Bosco is beautiful, even though it's not as great closer as STSG or Peeping Tom.
Astrololee, the lyrics have been transcribed at the placebo fans worldwide forum.

helpoemer420
September 18th 2013


28 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

as a lifelong fan of the band, this album actually upset me

Digging: The Bug - Angels and Devils

Parallels
September 18th 2013


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can you imagine a love that is so proud

It never has to question why or how

Green Baron
September 18th 2013


20247 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

a friend in need's a friend in deed
i got too many friends so i'll just smoke weed

Parallels
September 19th 2013


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

when i wake up im soaking i my sheets

albums not bad bro

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Since Meds these guys have been churning some diluted records. This, however, is slightly better than Battle For The Sun.

Digging: Brant Bjork - Black Flower Power

WePartWays
September 21st 2013


29 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I listened to this once, but the lyrics themselves managed to turn me off. "Rob The Bank" has like the worst lyrics ever.

DrGunther
October 1st 2013


184 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Since Meds these guys have been churning some diluted records. This, however, is slightly better than Battle For The Sun." Yeah, agree with this. Not that unpleasant to listen to but adds absolutely zero to their earlier stuff, and the lyrics have got far worse.

In fact after hearing how bad the lyrics were for Too Many Friends and Rob the Bank, I was half expecting Purify to be a cover of the St. Anger track. Shame!

Digging: ZZ Top - Tres Hombres

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2013


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some of the music is great. I really like Loud Like Love, Scene Of The Crime and A Million Little Pieces. However, it lacks the attitude of their earlier stuff. I'm happy they moved on and they aren't some lame goths now when they reached their 40s, but some punch and more insightful lyrics would be welcomed

Parallels
October 4th 2013


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"lame goths"

gfto now

baseless
October 25th 2013


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As an occasional Placebo listener I'd have to say this is a decent album. Excellent opening track, for the rest it's the usuall stuff

Parallels
November 29th 2013


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Get rid of the piano intro and Too Many Friends is actually a great song



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