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Battle for the Sun

I got the new Placebo album this weekend..
I don’t really know what to say about it, which means I probably have a LOT to say about it.. Lets see where this goes…
On first listen I was VERY disappointing. I Don’t know why. Maybe it was just how I was feeling at the time, but I was just really unimpressed by the album. I’ve since listened to it three more times, and my mind seams to have changed COMPLETELY! I’m really loving it now.. There’re some great songs on here..

There are a few issues I have with it though, that I picked up on the first listen and kinda distorted my opinion of it.

I don’t like how it starts! This may sound stupid, but I suppose that’s probably why I hated it when I first heard it, which says a lot for first impressions. It opens with a song called Kitty Litter. Its an odd song to me, because I love aspects of it (Especially that little a cappella bit: “I need a change, I need a change, I need a change of skin!”, which is one of my favorite moments on the album) but something about the opening riff doesn’t sit quite right with me.. It could just be the guitar tone, which is otherwise great on the rest of the album, but just sounds too compressed here. The song kind of comes in all at once, but it seems to trip over itself in a toe-stubbing move that as I said earlier creates a bad first impression of the whole album for me..

Molko’s lyrics just don’t seem to stand up to his previous work. A lot of the songs just seem really amateurish, which sucks, because usually I love his lyrics. For example, track 5, Devil in the Details starts off:

I’ve been wasting all my time,
With the devil in the details.
I’ve got no energy to fight,
He’s a f***ing pal o’mine.
The devil in the details.
And he’s fixing up to take a bite,
I don’t see the point in trying,
I’ve got the devil in the details.
He’s gonna teach me wrong from right,
That f***ing pal o’mine.
The devil in the details.
I’m gonna dance with him tonight.

Its not even the swearing I’m opposed to (although I probably should be), it just feels really disjointed, and a lot of the songs on the album have a similar feel.

Some of the arrangements just feel uncomfortable. Its not something I can explain in words, its more of a feeling thing, and some of the verses especially feel a bit forced.

These sound like small things, but one the first listen to any CD I’m usually very judgmental. I generally pick up on all the little technical details, sometimes for better sometimes for worse.

There are however a whole lot of really great things about Battle for the Sun. The recording is excellent (although a little clinical at times, which doesn’t compliment the raw character of the music.. That’s another problem I had with the album actually come to think of it..), the new drummer is AWESOME, the string and brass sections make for a very interesting sound-scape, along with a lot of great synth! (Yay synth!!), and in contrast to the lyrics, Brian Molko’s voice is possibly even more genuine and real than the last album, and some of his melodies are just genius! Songs like Battle for the Sun, Speak in Tongues and Kings of Medicine really stood out to me..

The packaging of the CD is also absolutely amazing! It comes in a little hardcover, bound book, with 20 pages of great artwork, photography, pictures of the band and lyrics, with the CD and a DVD of the making of the album slipped into the inside sleeves of the cover. Definitely one to make you buy the album rather than pirating it off the net. (Which is what good album art should do!)

I’m still not entirely convinced by it, but its definately a good album, by a great band! The problem is though, that great bands should be producing great albums.

Hell that was a long post!!

Like this post? Why not submit it..

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