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Sleeping With Ghosts

91 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Placebo Sleeping With Ghosts UK CD album


Sex and drugs and rock & roll have figured prominently in Placebo's glitterered-up, androgynous music. Sleeping with Ghosts is a little more coy than past recordings, dealing more with the torturous psychological aspects of relationships than with the exchange of body fluids. Not that there isn't any room for fetishism. "This Picture," for example, apparently dwells on sado-masochism and comes over as just the sort of trash-glam pop stomp once associated with Suede. "The Bitter End" ("Since we're feeling so anaesthatized") is a big, bruising, fatalistic rocker. At times it's hard to tell whether Brian Molko is repulsed or perversely inspired by his subject matter, although he's definitely bored with the bloody weather (the cheerless "English Summer Rain" is a subdued pop tune driven by rhythmic electronic jolts) and the waltz- time, Doors-influenced "Protect Me from What I Want" finds him praying to be delivered from his own personal temptations. Sleeping with Ghosts, however, is as much an album for slam-dancing nights out at Goth haunts as it is music for the psychiatrist’s couch. --Kevin Maidment

1. Bulletproof Cupid
2. English Summer Rain
3. This Picture
4. Sleeping With Ghosts
5. The Bitter End
6. Something Rotten
7. Plasticine
8. Special Needs
9. I'll Be Yours
10. Second Sight
11. Protect Me From What I Want
12. Centrefolds

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00008AWOD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,065 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Matt O. on July 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Before I got this album, I knew nothing about Placebo. I had heard a couple of the songs from the album on msn radio, and the music store I was in had nothing on my wish list other than this and a Chemical Brothers album. Feeling more in the mood for rock than electronica, I went with this, and I know that I made the right choice.
Placebo is a rock band with a definite punk influence, great guitarwork, occasionally repetitive but poetic lyrics, and an incredible lead singer. Brian Molko has what very people in the industry seem to have: an original voice. His voice can best be described as feminine, especially in a world full of Eddie Vedder soundalikes. But because of this soft edge, combined with the bass of Stefan Olsdal and the drums of Robert Schultzberg, some pretty amazing results turn out. The last track on the album has the most beautiful vocals this side of Radiohead. And unlike Thom Yorke, who sounds more pained than angry, Molko has a real intensity in his sound, which pays off in the harder songs.
The album starts out with the instrumental "Bulletproof Cupid," which is nothing phenomenal, but its a dang good intro into the sound that dominates the rest of the album. "English Summer Rain" is the first track to exhibit Molko's vocals, and it was the moment that my love affair with this album began. Its combination of basic rock components with the ethereal trip-hop sound just clicked with me. "This Picture" is a more straightforward rock song, but it showcases some of my favorite lyrics on the album. "Farewell, the ashtray girl, forbidden snowflake." It definitely sounds like a good concert song. The titular "Sleeping With Ghosts" goes back to the surreal ambience that makes the album for me.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By HUGO SANTINI on July 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Wow!...What an album!.
After all that androgin, glitter-punk rock begining, this got to be the most mature, finest album this english trio has ever made, i mean, Black Market was close, but this is , by far my favorite Placebo Album.
Ok, you wanna best album songs, dont you?...forget it! listen the whole cd and check by yourself the deep lyrics and the balanced sound of the band: Brian's guitar rocks as good as in early times did, drums are pretty good mixed with rhytm machines which, by the way, doesnt suck at all as in some electro-industrial rock crossover bands' albums, bass is simple, straight and smooth. And if you enjoy Brian Molko's provocative nasal voice,you are gonna ask for more.
Maybe Black Market was better accepted than Without You Im Nothing because its mature songs, but believe me, this one sounds like coming from better songwriter musicians.
I dont wanna be pretentious but Sleeping With Ghosts could mean for the band what Songs Of Faith And Devotion meant for Depeche Mode: their highest and finest moment.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'd like to preface my remarks by saying that I am a huge Placebo fan. I went out and bought this album yesterday and have been listening to it ever since. Of their three previously released albums, I'd say "Without You I'm Nothing" consisted of some really great songs alongside a couple of less great ones, and "Black Market Music" was more consistent, but the best songs there weren't as good as the best ones on WYIN. I'd say "Sleeping With Ghosts" is more like "Without You" in this regard. Of the 12 tracks here, I'd say there are really only two songs that I'm not wild about-"Something Rotten" and "Protect Me From What I Want." The rest are great.
As for the sound of the album itself, I think this record shows Placebo starting to move away from the largely punk-influenced songs they've had a lot of in the past (i.e. Brick S---house, Days Before You Came, etc.) and more towards more ethereal, beautiful ballad-type songs (i.e. Ask For Answers, Peeping Tom) although there are examples of both here. I have noticed a lot more synthesizers and electronic noise on this album than on anything else Placebo has recorded in the past, but, unlike a lot of artists who do this, I think the addition of synthesizers help, rather than hinder, the music.
My favorite tracks: English Summer Rain, This Picture, Sleeping With Ghosts, The Bitter End, Special Needs, Second Sight, and Centrefolds. There is a lot here for Placebo's current fans to like, and a lot more that should hopefully attract some new fans to the fold. This is a brilliant band that seems to only get better with age. I can't wait to see what comes next.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TheDarkPrince on May 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
A problem with the music industry today is that artists are portrayed - both by the media and through their music - as being larger than life. This image can often create a barrier to the listener when hearing their music, which stops them from connecting properly with the emotions being evoked. The beauty of "Sleeping With Ghosts" lies in Placebo's ability to remove this metaphorical barrier and expose the listener to the full impact of the emotions being evoked. Listening to "Sleeping With Ghosts" is an experience I find to be akin to talking with a close friend, in that the band make no attempt to salvage the "rock star" image amidst the tender, unpretentious beauty on offer.

Many people would be fast to label Placebo as an indie or pop-rock act, but personally I see them as a more progressive band. Their quietly hypnotic quality feels to me closely reminiscient of Pink Floyd. Part of Placebo's capability to really closely connect with the listener actually stems, I feel, from their musical simplicity. The guitar and drum lines on offer are far from being technically complex, but they do have an ambient flow to them which promotes the soothing nature of the music. Brian Molko's voice is also not what would be traditionally considered "beautiful". On the contrary it's actually quite nasal, and if it were used in the wrong way would certainly fall on the wrong side of annoying. However, in the way his vocal lines glide gracefully over the music, they too adopt a quietly ambient hue. A few piano lines thrown in here and there don't hurt either; in fact, they give the album a new layer and serve to magnify the experience.

The song structures too, play a large role in creating "Sleeping With Ghosts'" hypnotic atmosphere.
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