Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
April 24, 2003
Amazon Disco:
Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004 Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004
November 30, 2004
Astralwerks / Emd
Without You I'm Nothing Without You I'm Nothing
November 3, 1998
Virgin Records
Sleeping With Ghosts Sleeping With Ghosts
April 1, 2003
Astralwerks / Emd
Black Market Music Black Market Music
May 8, 2001
Virgin Records
Placebo Placebo
July 16, 1996
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Sleeping With Ghosts

I tend to see each album Placebo releases not necessarily as an entirely new project but instead as a modification of a previous effort. this does not imply artistic recycling, however. each album *is* distinct and marked with a particular race of emotions and ideas. yet the idea of modification is evident if one looks at all their works. the punk snarl and wild, alt-rock bombast of their debut eventually led to better-orchestrated and subtler Without You I'm Noting, released in 1998. Black Market Music, released two years later, was a departure because of its use of electronic horns and sirens, making avid Placebo fans get used to songs like 'Taste in Men,' 'Spite and Malice,' and 'Hemoglobin.' though wonderful, the album still sounded dense, as though the producer overemphasized the electronic elements. but Sleeping With Ghosts, the trio's 4th outing, seems to perfect the craft they began with BMM.

the album begins with the instrumental 'Bulletproof Cupid,' a 3-minute conflagration of a song with a killer hook. this is followed by 'English Summer Rain' and i believe that these two songs combined set the tone for the rest of the record: the archetypal (but in a good way) punk-rock and alt-rock leanings intermingled with their newfound attraction to studio gimmicks. 'English Summer Rain' nicely melds the organic with the synthetic while Brian Moklo's nasalized voice echoes through. As opposed to Black Market Music, the electronic elements are used mostly as undercurrents and leaves an eerie film on songs like 'I'll be Yours,' 'Something Rotten,' and the title track. this is properly offset by the guitars in 'The Bitter End' and 'Second Sight.' overall, this is a great effort even though there aren't any surprises like 'Evil Dildo' on Without You I'm Nothing or 'Black Market Blood' (a stellar track) on Black Market Music. i guess it goes to show that Placebo is still the best at adrogyny of all sorts, especially in music.

Release date: April 1, 2003
Label: Astralwerks / Emd
Rating: 9.0 / 10