Placebo - Without You I'm Nothing
"A friend in need is a friend indeed/ A friend with weed is better"
These lines give you the impression that here is someone who is writing lyrics he thinks are clever. In fact, he comes across as a twat, a needy and childish one at that, the sort of kid who is constantly tugging at mummy's skirt expecting to be picked up, or given a bag of crisps or something. It is almost too facile to be called juvenile.
Now from this, you may conclude that I do not like this album. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Musically, this is good stuff. I like the production, which enhances without over-emphasising the distortion of the guitars. This is heard to best effect on the title track where the wall of sound created by the distortion slowly grows until it comes to dominate the room, all in the most positive way. The guitars wash over you like a slow motion wave breaking on an empty beach, while the reverb renders you oblivious to what is happening. And for a three piece, they really need that production to get across to the listener the level of noise they are prepared to put out in the making of this album.
Placebo are at their best when they do their slower numbers, the title track being a case in point. When they speed it up, such as on "Scared of Girls", they seem to slip back into part of an indistinguishable mass of post-shoegaze emo-rockers, distinguishable only because of Molko's voice. By mixing up the slow with the quicker paced number, they may achieve a clear-cut distinction between tracks, but the disruption to continuity is most unsettling. Whether this was the intention, I do not know. I am not sure it works. As is so often the case with Placebo's music, the occasional track stands out from the rest, but the rest are like a morass of pieces of music which all tend to sound the same insofar as the switched off mind is able to determine.
Finally, I have, in the past few months, purchased a number of albums with a hidden track. More often than not they are instrumental. Nirvana may have started this (or maybe not) but it is bloody irritating. That this one is called (or generally known as) "Evil Dildo" is neither here nor there. Nor is the fact that it is a rather repetitive instrumental, as is so often the case. Above all, it isn't clever or cool. For one thing it needlessly wastes space on my iPod. If a band thinks a track is worthy of inclusion on an album, then include it in the track listing. Otherwise, leave it off. "Evil Dildo" adds nothing except the irritation factor.
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