If there’s one band that has the title track down, it’s Placebo. Since their inception in the mid 90’s, Placebo has been one of the most consistent bands to release quality albums and songs. They are also one of my all time favorite bands and their live shows are always stellar. Throughout the years, my appreciation for Placebo has grown stronger and stronger for their willingness to evolve and stay true to themselves without compromising their artistic integrity. Take a moment and explore these gems.
From the first time I heard the song Every You Every Me in 1997, I became a fan of Placebo. Their second album Without You I’m Nothing, would be a part of my constant playlist, especially on melancholia days. Which brings me to to today, when I woke up with the song “Meds” in my head, so naturally that got me thinking I should do an album rank of Placebo.
There are bands that go through a sort of identity crisis in their careers, some use this as fuel to create something special and make what they come up with an influential and highly regarded piece of work. Placebo did that in 2006 when they released Meds. Their previous albums were great. but they started to feel very stagnant. Stepping away from their use of samplers, computers and vintage synthesizers and returning to actually playing again seemed to reinvigorate Placebo. Lyrically the balance of drug and alcohol imagery really showed part of their personal dysfunction and vulnerability. Songs like “Meds,” “Infra-Red,” and “Post Blue” showcase this pleasantly. There is also another theme that rings throughout the album, danger. “Because, I Want You” and “Blind” could be construed as love songs all the while creating a short story about drugs and love. Another stand out from the album was their cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” which fits perfectly in the thematic structure that MEDS is. It is also a staple at their live shows.
Placebo has never been one to shy away from what they want to create and release. Brian Molko has a voice that is very distinct and believable. This album is one of the best to be released in the last 15 years and still hold up!