Loud Like Love



by Green Baron USER (160 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2013 | 11 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another disappointing Placebo record that signals an important question for them: where do they go from here?

So, here we are, in 2013, still talking about Placebo. I'd like to open this review by saying how Loud Like Love is the album that they needed to make if they wanted to return to their late-90s/early 00s form, but unfortunately that isn't true. You see, Placebo haven't been good since 2006's Meds, but as soon as Steve Hewitt left they've never been able to recapture their old magic. Battle for the Sun was average, offering some decent songs amongst a group of useless ones, and B3 wasn't horrible, but it was a long way from Without You I'm Nothing or Black Market Music. That's why Loud Like Love represents an important point in Placebo's discography; the point where they can either rebound from a couple of mediocre albums or continue their slump.

With only ten songs, Loud Like Love needs a lot of highlights if it wants to remain memorable, but sadly, the highlights are just completely missing. The album opens up nicely enough with the title track's captivating guitar riff and anthemic chorus, reminding us all of Placebo's glory days. It's songs like these that give a false hope to the album, because the next few songs are incredibly vapid with no substance whatsoever to any of them, with “Rob the Bank”, “Hold on to Me” and “Too Many Friends” being the worst offenders. The latter features some incredibly stupid lyrics (even though two of the band members are homosexuals, "My computer thinks I'm gay, I threw that piece of junk away" is still complete songwriting garbage), while the former two highlight the more nasally qualities of Brian Molko's vocals and lack the catchy hooks that the title track had.

The main problem with Loud Like Love is that Placebo haven’t changed their sound one bit since 2003. Any of these songs could have placed on Battle for the Sun or B3, and it’s disappointing to hear how little they’ve progressed. The only song that has Placebo attempting something different would be “Exit Wounds” and its thumping industrial-driven beat. Loud Like Love achieves the most on its slower, more emotional songs, and the album’s second half (advertised as the dark side of the record) is full of them. "A Million Little Pieces"'s infectious riff and chorus brings back memories of "Post Blue" from Meds. Its downbeat mood perfectly displays Molko's emotional vocal performance, and is the definitive highlight of the album.

It’s nice to see Loud Like Love end with a bang after such a slow start; “Purify”’s captivating chorus of “My kiss, can you feel it yet? In the back of your legs? And on the nape of your neck?” may not be the best lyrically, but instrumentally, it gets the job done. Seven-minute long closer “Bosco” is the most intimate song on the album, detailing the derailing on a relationship. What makes the song stand out from the rest of the pack is Molko’s vocals; there might be many songs on the album where his singing is godawful and nasally as ***, but when he sings from his heart, that’s when his voice shines the most. As the album draws to its conclusion, the last thing that I remembered was Brian Molko’s vocal performance on “Bosco”, and that’s good enough for me.

What’s not good enough for me, however, is Loud Like Love’s end result. Sure, the album’s latter section has some great songs reminiscent of classic Placebo, but more times than not, the album suffers in its own blandness and lack of substance. It’s songs like “Rob the Bank” or “Too Many Friends” that kill the vibe of the album just as its picking up speed. This album won’t do much to anyone disappointed by their last few records, and it’s not likely that it’ll pick up new fans. Loud Like Love is the fork in Placebo’s career; where they go next is their choice; let’s hope they pick the right one.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 22nd 2013


Been jamming this other band called placebo. They're a 70s jazz rock band from Belgium.

Not sure if they're on the db tho.

September 22nd 2013


semicolon in review summary should be a colon

September 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

I was (and still am) disappointed by their decision to drop Molko's nasally voice. I got used to the new assertive sound on Battle for the Sun, but I think they did a better job with it on this album.

September 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

Review reads like a 3.0 to me, because you've picked up the approval for the second half

September 22nd 2013


"Battle of the Sun was average, offering some decent songs amongst a group of useless ones,"

should be "Battle for the Sun", not "of".

September 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

You make some very sweeping statements without any sort of evidence or opinion to back them up. You say that a line from "Too Many Friends" is "complete songwriting garbage", and follow up that statement with nothing to support your claim, nor do you even consider the perhaps very poignant reference Brian Molko is making with the line you refer to ("My computer thinks I'm gay"). It's funny because that line refers to people like you who are guilty of labeling Molko as "homosexual" (which you did say), among other things.

Green Baron
September 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 2.0

i understand what the song's about; i might have actually enjoyed it more if he had at least been a little more subtle instead of just explicitly coming out saying "my computer thinks i'm gay"

September 22nd 2013


Album Rating: 1.5

my computer calls me a fag

fuckin douchebag

October 1st 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

album is the shitttt


October 3rd 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Expecting Brian Molko to be more subtle with his lyrics is quite the longshot.

December 28th 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

God this review is awful

I really feel like this was written by someone who didnt even listen to the album thoroughly. Plus I don't think I agreed with any part of it.

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