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4.7 out of 5 stars
Loud Like Love
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2013
I first got into Placebo in early 2001, at the time when 'Special K' was getting a lot of airtime on MTV 2. I'll try not to be biased even though I'm a die-hard fan (I own the limited editions of Black Market Music, Sleeping with Ghosts, Once More with Feeling and Meds; the 10th anniversary edition of the self-titled debut; the redux version of Battle for the Sun; the Battle for the Sun box-set; the complete EMI box-set; the B-Sides compilation; 2 live iTunes albums; the B3 EP; the Loud Like Love box-set purchased directly from Universal; and any tracks not featured in already mentioned on CD singles or as iTunes downloads; I've also seen them live).

This album, in a nutshell, is a grown man laying his heart bare. That's always been an aspect of Placebo's music, but 'Love' has never been so much at the forefront of the record in any of Placebo's previous material, nor in most music by anyone else (Leonard Cohen may be an exception).

Sometimes it's a hopeful love - like in the title track - sometimes it seems quite hopeless - like in the excellent 'Exit Wounds'. In either case it's sung about beautifully, Brian showing more maturity and even sensitivity than in any of the previous work.

The transformation from Nancy Boy of the 90s to introspective, broken-yet-warm-hearted grown man and father seems complete with this album.

The band do however, fortunately, still know how to rock out. Guitar sounds swirl back and forth, kicking in or jumping out with perfect timing, the album still has a great punk/grunge vibe, with some slower piano-led tracks mixing things up.

To summarize, if you've never liked Placebo so far, this album probably won't change your mind. For a newcomer, it's a pretty good place to start, and for the fan it's a no-brainer. Me, well I love it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2013
Let's face it: you either love Placebo or you don't. Brian's voice is a bit of a "marmite" voice. So if you're in the "don't" camp, you're not going to like this, and actually you won't be reading this. So this is to those with taste.
I have to say I was a little worried about this album. The lead single had that very dodgy line "on the Champs-Élysées" that just jarred with me as naive and forced. That said, I totally fell in love with the song, and then the title track, which is even better.
But what of the album? Well it's fantastic. Music critics have trashed it in the press, but so what. They know nothing. Placebo have made consistently great albums, with their signature style and sound all over them. They can't sound "different" - this IS what they sound like. And for those of us who love that, this album is a gem.
I won't critique all the songs individually, but my favourites are Rob The Bank, Loud Like Love... and Bosco, which is the best song of the year for me, and probably my favourite Placebo song of all-time. It is pure perfection. In writing. In execution. They should be so proud of it.
This is a five star album to my ears. And my second favourite album of the year after John Grant's Pale Green Ghosts. I never tire of Placebo. They are my comfort music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2013
I've loved Placebo since Black Market Music, but there's something special about this album. The title track, Loud Like Love is a storming, anthemic yell of positivity which leads into an album which is at swings from uplifting to brooding. The end track 'Bosco' is a moving, profound tune which rivals Commercial for Levi, Pierrot the Clown or even Without You I'm Nothing for emotional depth. In between are tracks which have new synthy elements but keep the Placebo vibe I've loved for years now.

Buy this album.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2014
So I've been listening to this album on and off since the day it was released last September. My music taste has expanded so much since I first fell head over heels with the band once discovering their third album Black Market Music at the young age of 14 back in 2001. My point is I juggle listening to so many bands such as The Cure, Sonic Youth, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins (all with huge back catalogues) a long with my new found love for house music. But I always come back to Placebo, my favourite band, and this album is usually the first option I'll go to with it still being fresh and new to me.
After first hearing the debut single Too Many Friends last summer I wasn't happy with what I heard at all, comparing it to other debut singles such as The Bitter End, Pure Morning, Taste In Men and even Battle for the Sun (not a single but the first song to surface from the album, as a free download on the bands site) I was very disappointed, but after numerous listens the song began to grow on me, besides the questioning lyrics, the music and vocal melody are very unique, and the video is intriguing and fits the song very well.
Upon listening to the album for the first time I put it in my car CD player and went for a drive, again I wasn't excited or feeling the songs unlike the first time I heard Meds back in 2006 (literally overwhelmed, partying to the album in my uni halls of residence), I thought I'd grown out of love with the band. I found the songs somewhat awkward, but after numerous listens the songs jumped out at me one by one (and they still are), Exit Wounds being the first, and once this happened I realised I hadn't experience this much raw emotion in music in such a long time, the song is so dark and painful it will grab you, like you can directly feel the emotions Brian is delivering. I have a lot of love for the fuzzy catchy Scene of the Crime, the devastating Begin the End, the upbeat Purify and even Rob the Bank (very catchy). But one of my favourites is the itunes bonus track "Pity Party", it annoys me this isn't on the CD or Vinyl, as it is such an amazing haunting song, reminiscent of Pierrot the Clown and Black Market Blood, but at least it's available on my iPod.
Overall this is a great addition the Placebo's fulfilling outstanding discography, in terms of sound the album mixes the unusual electronic sounds of Sleeping With Ghosts with the darkness of Meds and the high energy of Battle for the Sun. Just be sure to put this album on repeat and let every song to get stuck in your head one by one.
Placebo have still got it, welcome back boys!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2013
I discovered Placebo on Top of the Pops performing Nancy Boy and have been an addict ever since.
This new album after the earlier tour de force that is B3 EP was met with some trepidation, would Placebo be able to match their previous six albums proper and the answer to this long standing fan is a resounding YES.
Placebo - Latin for: To Please, are my favourite band of all-time they utterly live up to their name, this new album of 10 tracks is like an audio drug, as soon as I've listened to all 10 tracks I feel compelled to hit the play button on my portable CD player again.
Sadly there have been disparaging reviews from people who just don't get this band and would rather, or so it seems to me, be reviewing something less challenging and frankly less well written NME I'm pointing the finger at your female reviewer who wrote some vitriolic nonsense regarding this album, which for my taste beggars belief.

From start to finish this is a tight and compact record, there are no filler tracks, as some so called self proclaimed fans have even stated on this very site.
Sorry, but you need to reassess and quantify, every single track leads into the next with the kind of mature measured knowledge that only a band like Placebo could ever hope to achieve.
Clearly Brian's writing here is influenced by David Bowie's latest album, but I think they may have been influenced by similarly great British bands earlier release this year by Suede in so much that both bands have put out an entire album of love songs, which may be coincidence, but even so is a very happy one to this fan.

Stand out tracks, well hell they are all great, but force to pick I would put Exit Wounds close to the top, but as I've already opined, each new song leads perfectly into the next, from the opening belter to the final poignantly honest song I can find no fault and no dissemination from their original blue-print to elevate the pain of life, love and existence for people like myself who find themselves disenfranchised from the regular morass of pop.

Placebo are pop and rock infused with an emotional resonance not found by this overall music fan in any other guise.

"I gotta testify"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2013
No review will ever do justice to what music can convey. There is no accounting for tastes so if you want to know whether you like this album, just listen in and decide for yourself. All I can say is that the CD has not left my CD player for a week as it seems to be stuck in repeat mode :-) Buy it and have fun listening to this great album over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2014
I bought this because 'Once More With Feeling' is and amazing compilation album and I felt like Placebo would be a safe bet for some new music and was I generally disappointed.

I feel that Placebo have sadly gone down the same path as many of the bands that I like (such as Muse, Incubus and the Arctic Monkeys) and have totally lost their edge.

The lyrics are cringe worthy and the music sounds frustratingly ponderous. there are moments when some of the songs become almost good but sadly they never succeed. Like loud love and Purify are good songs, but a lot of the other songs are derivative (Too Many Friends and Rob the Bank make my toes curl because they are so bad).

unless I'm missing a nuance that you would only acquire through being a lifetime Placebo fan this isn't worth bothering with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2013
When i first listened to this album i was disappointed as i loved Battle For The Sun straight away. But after a few listens it's definitely a grower even though one or two tracks i cant get into. Stand out track's Loud Like Love, Too Many Friends and Exit Wounds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2014
When I placed this album in the CD player for the first time, I have to admit I didn't quite know what to expect. As soon as Brian's distinctive vocals started on track 1, I just knew this album was going to be something special. Some albums has maybe 1 or 2 songs which are worth listening to (the rest being fillers), but I have to say every one on this CD is fantastic! The standout tracks are 'Loud Like Love', 'A Million Pieces' and my absolute favourite being 'Begin The End'. The whole album has a wonderful feel to it, displaying a maturity of sound which is full bodied and completely seductive. 10 out of 10.
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