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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 22 March 2003
Phew! For a while I had been dreading the release of Sleeping With Ghosts. There was the anticipation of whether it would rise to the standards of their previous efforts, but this - Placebo's fourth LP - has not failed to impress.
Instrumental opener 'Bulletproof Cupid' sets a dark, moody scene for the album, and leads into the fantastic 'English Summer Rain' and rather disturbing 'This Picture'.
Let's face it though - they released 'The Bitter End', and everybody loved their epic return, but we all knew that deep down it would be one of the best songs on here - which it is, and so it does leave you feeling slightly disappointed (even though we all knew it anyway) that it isn't 12 tracks of explosive guitars and exciting riffage. But this is Placebo we're talking about - that's not what they're meant to be.
So the standard format has been used again for this album - there are the tracks which will be released, there are the tracks covering controversial topics, there are the tracks that will set a live performance on fire, and there are the gentle ballad types. All the flavours have once again been thrown in for good fun, and it has produced a very fresh and rather stunning new album. Let's hope they can pull it off for a fifth time aswell.
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on 8 August 2003
I am a long-time Placebo fan and I love all their previous albums. This album, with its newer, more complex sound, is definately another demonstration of development and professionalism from the boys. It is probably the most emotional of all Placebo albums, demonstrated in songs such as "Special Needs", "I'll Be Yours" and "Sleeping With Ghosts" (which is also political). Its faults lie not in the songs, but in the order of the tracks. The album opens with a blasting "Bulletproof Cupid" with cool riffs, but "English Summer Rain" destroys the excitement and flow. "Sleeping With Ghosts" should be further in the album, again killing the momentum brought on by "This Picture". (Also, the "Soulmates" version of "SWG" on the "This Picture" single would have suited the the album better).And so it goes on. Another disappointment was the lack of a hidden track after the usual 12 tracks (as in every other Placebo album released until now).
Despite the monstrous order of the tracks, the songs themselves are fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone, especially since it is the most accessible Placebo album.
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This is a great Placebo album. Close enough to their previous albums to appeal to existing fans and fresh enough to stay current, a perfect mix. This album has some outstanding tracks, as other reviews have noted, and it is one of their few albums that feels coherent the whole way through and with a high quality for all tracks. A great album for existing fans, and the best place to start for new ones.

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on 12 April 2003
I am a huge fan of Placebo and upon buying their latest album, "Sleeping With Ghosts" I must admit that I was disappointed. I expected a true follow-up to thier previous albums, "Without You I'm Nothing" and "Black Market Music" but found a very different sound based on a lot of new technology and new sounds.
At first I was disapponited but after listening to the album as an individual record rather than comparing it to the band's previous releases I found myself liking it more and more with each listen.
The high pointof the album is the first single, "The Bitter End," which is probably the fastest of the tracks. The only song I currently don't find to be very good is "Plasticine," it's a very bland outing for the usually exciting Placebo. Fans of the band will be greatly surprised by "English Summer Rain," "Something Rotten," and the excellent opening instrumental, "Bulletproof Cupid."
The other highlights would have to be the extremely catchy "This Picture," the supremely sentimental and emotional "Special Needs," and the heart-warming title track, "Sleeping With Ghosts."
My advice is as follows; if you like Placebo, be prepared for something a little different and compelling. It still sounds like them and the more you listen to it, the better it gets. Don't be put off by listening to it once or twice and feeling a little underwhelmed, it's one of those albums that you need to allow time to really blossom.
After all that, I still think it's their weakest album, but it still gets 5 stars. Brilliant.
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on 17 April 2003
I'm extremely impressed with this. Definitely on a par with 'Without you I'm nothing'. Strange similarities too ... the best songs are number 5 and 8. In this case, 'The Bitter End' and 'Special Needs', in the case of WYIN, 'Without You I'm Nothing' and 'Every You Every Me'.
Very compelling music and well worth the purchase!
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on 12 May 2003
A fantastic album. I absolutely hated Black Market Music & I thought it was a download spiral for Placebo from then on, but this is a brilliant album thats right up there with Without You I'm Nothing. If you're nervous about buying an album after BMM then rest assured, you'll like this!
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on 21 February 2013
I recommend all placebo albums to everyone, they are amazingly crafted albums with touching lyrics, brilliant music and the lead singer has a beautiful voice (a mixture of french and scottish!)
In my opinion, it isn't the best Placebo album, 'Black Market Music' and 'Meds' are a little better holistically.
However, 'This Picture' and 'Special Needs' are pretty brilliant songs and deserve endless praise and endless listens!
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on 21 July 2015
This is the first Placebo album I heard and having now bought all of the others, this is still one of my favourites. The opening track is a homage/shameless rip off of one of their big influences, Sonic Youth and their song Silver Rocket it would seem, but nothing wrong with that, and in fact, this is possibly better.From there on the pace slows a little and its the usual mix of catchy pop/rock that they do so much better than anyone else. Brian's diction is always so clear, and his lyrics are always intelligent and engaging. Not sure why they have never been bigger. About time they headlined Glastonbury.
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on 24 March 2003
Placebo's amazing new album is extreamly emotive and a must for any placebo fan new or old. They are not afraid to chance their sound and this really comes out in the record. This is a brilliant come back from "Black Market Music" and is fantastic in every way
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on 28 October 2003
I was one of the lucky ones who waited before buying this special double edition of Sleeping With Ghosts.
Artistically a nice retro rock eighties sound, with excellent songs as This Picture and Bitter End.
Fanfriendly a pure rip off:
1) the cd first came out as only one cd (for about the same prize as this double edition
2) the two cd's are copy controlled which means you have to use the custom cdplayer to listen to the cd's on your pc, but here it comes: the first cd can on your pc only be listened at on 40 kbps (a ridicilous soundquality), the second on 128 kbps
3) the lead singer declared on an interview on MTV that this cd was a 'gift' to the fans (nice gift if you have to cash out again, and the real fans probably rushed out to buy the cd and are now expected to cash out again if they want to own a legal version).
This is exactly the reason why to avoid this editon at all cost. You've been warned !
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