Placebo are back after quite a hiatus from studio albums: after some compilations and live albums, Never Let Me Go is the eighth studio release by the British and and first one since Loud Like Love in 2013. I had a listen to the thirteen songs, which are released on 25th May 2022.
Placebo – About The Artists
Placebo is a British band which has been founded in London in 1994. Nowadays, the band is practically a duo driven by the founding members Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal. They do most of the instruments on their own, and additional work with touring members like Matt Lunn (drums, percussion, since 2015) or Bill Lloyd, who is a permanent touring member since 1996 (guitars, bass, keyboards).
Already their debut album Placebo was quite a success in the United Kingdom, peaking fifth in the British album charts. With their second album Without You I’m Nothing, Placebo started to be successful continentally. Their key fan bases are in Central Europe (France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland), their home country as well as in Australia. The 1998 release also includes the two single Pure Morning and Every You Every Me, which are the only Placebo originals receiving a silver record (in the UK).
Placebo – Never Let Me Go – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 58 minutes.
1. Forever Chemicals
Easy to grasp? If you are a fan of the band, you will praise the London duo for their first album opener after nine years. I just cannot deny a certain feeling of monotony as well. The song has a strong alternative rock flavor.
2. Beautiful James
After struggling with the opener, I can relate much better to this first single release – not just because the sound of the track is familiar already. Nice work with guitars and synth melody lines.
Hugz is coming with a rougher and more intense sound from the very beginning. Again, Placebo does not really go for deep lyrics, but rather works with continuous repetitions of the lyrics. This leads to a slightly scaring feeling from my side – bad luck, as the song is actually not that bad at all.
4. Happy Birthday In The Sky
The song has been one of the most recent releases of the album. Happy Birthday In The Sky is more melodic than the songs before, but also has a touch of melancholy. Compared to other songs on the album, it is lacking character in my point of view.
5. The Prodigal
The Prodigal surprises with strings opening the song. This turns the song into a rather special track on the album. The tracks feels a bit of soppy here and there, but is still a really nice listen.
6. Surrounded By Spies
Another song, which is already known to Placebo fans. The song creates a mystical, almost threatening atmosphere. On the other hand, the vocal side offers a quite typical Placebo sound. I like the song, even though it feels like it could easily be reduced by a minute (5:15 minutes total duration).
7. Try Better Next Time
With just three minutes, the already released Try Better Next Time is offering mainstream radio format. A song about the end of humanity. One of the best lyrics of the album – and one of my favorites of the album.
8. Sad White Reggae
The last six tracks of the album might be the most interesting ones for Placebo fans. None of the songs in this sections have been published before the album release. Sad White Reggae is the first song of this section, doing a rocking 1980’s electro-pop sound. Not bad, but also not really a jewel in this box of songs.
9. Twin Demons
Twin Demons is nicely driven by a speedy, stomping rhythm. Not too many surprising elements, but the ninth track working with strong distortions simply gets the job done.
A quick rhythm, a lot of synth sound and a quite standard performance – Chemtrails could be a bit braver in my point of view, but overall is a good song. One of the better lyrics of the album as well.
11. This Is What You Wanted
The piano is taking a the main part of the melody in This Is What You Wanted. This is even emphasizing the depressive, melancholic style of the Placebo song. The song is finally running off slowly. Fans will smile during the listen, for sure.
12. Went Missing
The last two songs are about five minutes each. The style of Went Missing is like a story told, a mantra, almost a sad prayer. Don’t listen to this one if you are too sad already anyway – it may be just too much for you.
13. Fix Yourself
Go fix yourself instead of someone else – the last song of the album feels like the perfect run-off of the feelings initiated in the tracks before. Fix Yourself comes with a very own, atmospheric background melody. I can just hardly relate to it.
Placebo – Never Let Me Go – Spotify
Here is Never Let Me Go on Spotify:
Placebo – Never Let Me Go – My View
Placebo is one of these “Love them or hate them” acts. Definitely, the two Londoners create some good songs on this 2022 – the long wait feels to be worth it. Still, there is a too strong feeling of monotony deep inside of me when I am listening to their thirteen tracks of Never Let Me Go. Not bad at all, but also no album I would fully recommend. Fans of the band will have a much more positive view than I do.
London – Music & Media
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