After the huge global success of their singles collection, Once More With Feeling, Placebo return with their 5th studio album Meds. It is their first studio album since 2004's Sleeping With Ghosts which went Top 10 in the UK and sold 1.4 million copies worldwide. Preceded by the single 'Because I Want You', the album marks the return of a very confident band who after 10 years together keep growing in stature. Virgin. 2006.
Glammy, druggy, androgynous: the guitar-hefting trio Placebo has rarely left its aesthetic cornerstones vague. With a title like Meds
, they've no intention of doing so in 2006. "Baby, did you forget to take your meds?" is the opening chorus, sung with an endearing, scared soft-wrap by the Kills' Alison Mosshart perhaps an ironically simple little question given singer Brian Molko's oft-declared dope fascination. Following the band's 2004 hits collection, Once More with Feeling
which closed with the lean "Twenty Years," the then-new and brilliant single Meds
strips Placebo down anew, focusing on guitars, Molko's high-pitched vocals, Stefan Olsdals bounding bass, and drummer Steve Hewitts determined, hard-hitting thwack. Having toyed with electronics and, famously, hooking up with David Bowie (among other luminaries), Placebo here presents gems like "Broken Promise," with its piano-tinted, haunted guest vocal from Michael Stipe that foreshadows a guitar-blasting thunderstorm. It drives the mind again to ponder: With their records selling more than 6 million copies globally, how come Placebo isn't a massively "it" band in the U.S.? It's this country's loss. --Andrew Bartlett