Album Review : Battle For The Sun - Placebo***
For Fans Of : Muse, Radiohead, Kasabian, My Chemical Romance
Placebo have always been a band that along their career, with the exception of Black Market Music, have produced decent albums each with one or two killer tracks - Nancy Boy, Pure Morning, Brick Shithouse, The Bitter End etc. Black Market Music on the other hand was an album mostly filled with great songs and only a couple of fillers.
Perversely, Battle For The Sun contains better quality songs than Meds or Sleeping With Ghosts, all are pretty good but there doesn't seem to be a stand out epic track. Placebo are now on an independent label, with a new drummer, and BFTS has a more aggressive sound than their previous albums.
The anthemic title track is almost the killer song, but weakened slightly by the lyrical repetition within the song, it also sounds like Molko would benefit Placebo's sound by allowing backing vocals on some of the big chorus chorus numbers to enrich his own slightly plaintive vocal style. Molko also seems to suffer from a lack of lyrical clarity and focus, a song like Black Eyed was an obvious and heart felt emo anthem, the vignettes of Nancy Boy and Commercial For Levi were easy to get your head around, but what are Battle For The Sun, For What It's Worth and Devil In The Details all about ? Perhaps as a mature artist with a growing family Molko no longer finds it easy to pen his tales of loneliness and disaffection.
Strong guitars dominate BFTS and it is nice to have Placebo back as an out and out rock band after the sometimes uninspired dull plodding of Meds and Sleeping With Ghosts. I love Placebo, but this album leaves me feeling like many of the albums have done, quite good, and I enjoyed it, but it really should have been better.