17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Unbiased review by a Placebo obsessive since '96, 10 Oct. 2013
I've been obsessed with this band since I was a teen back in the 90's. I've seen them live 11 times since '96 and I've even met them a few times over the years. Yet no matter how hard I try I just cannot shake my disappointment with this album. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's because I'm in my early 30's? I don't know but I honestly cannot understand the universal praise this album has received from Placebo fans. There's basically two great songs here. The title track and Exit Wounds. That's it. Both outstanding tunes granted. But that's it. Too Many Friends & Begin The End are pleasant enough to excite me slightly. And the rest are basically just filler.
Who'd have thought the band that sound tracked my youth all those years ago with unbelievably good songs such as Teenage Angst (an amazing song which for some bizarre reason they've murdered on numerous occasions since with far inferior versions), Allergic, Lady Of The Flowers, Drowning By Numbers etc would release A Million Little Pieces? A song which sounds like it should have been released by some dodgy 90's euro pop band. It's terrible. It sounds like Savage Garden. The sad thing is it could have been such a better song had it been a bit more guitar heavy. The thing is, Brian's voice aside, it doesn't sound like Placebo to my ears. I'm all for progression but this isn't progress to me.
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh. The 'filler' isn't bad by any stretch but it isn't exactly earth shattering either, like Placebo songs usually are. Begin The End is a promising little number which builds nicely but, rather then leave me lying on the floor begging for more, I'm left feeling slightly deflated. It's like it could have some how been so much better. Scene Of The Crime doesn't do anything for me either despite being a catchy number, so much so that I find myself listening to it again & again hoping, waiting for it to 'click'. But it just doesn't happen. It's a similar experience for much of the album and I'm willing to bet that most fans who are heaping praise on this recent effort right now will one day soon see this album for what it is. Pretty weak. I thought Battle For The Sun was weak when I first heard it but at least it had Kings Of Medicine, Breathe Underwater, Speak In Tongues, Bright Lights, The Never Ending Why, Happy You're Gone & Devil.
To me this album has Loud Like Love & Exit Wounds. And that's it.
I'll keep trying no doubt as I love this band too much to give up. But at this late stage I'm fairly certain my love for this is album based purely on those two songs.
One thing I am certain of - If this wasn't a Placebo album I wouldn't even have given it a second listen. I suppose it is a slightly biased review after all.