ALBUM: Placebo – Loud Like Love

Release Date: September 16th, 2013
Label: Universal


Clocking in a seventh album to their seventeen-year career, British alternative rock outfit Placebo come up with a polarising effort. Though ‘Loud Like Love’ offers instrumentation and musicianship that is easily absorbable, it also offers flaws which may deter potential fans of the LP.

Perhaps it’s best to deal with the cons of ‘Loud Like Love’ first. Possibly the most ridiculous, bizarre and hard to comprehend aspect of Placebo‘s composition of this record is the lyricism. Take a moment to absorb this lyric from the track ‘Rob The Bank’: “Rob the bank, make a joke out of dyslexia / Rob the bank, then pick your nose”. The track goes on to repeat the verse “rob the bank” until following with a chorus about making love. The lyrics are particularly hard to comprehend, purely because the ridiculousness of them doesn’t add any form of purpose to the song. Even if the purpose of the track was to be ridiculous, the lyricism does no justice to the cause, because they surpass any redeemable cause.

The more disappointing form of lyricism on this LP comes in the shape of the first single, entitled ‘Too Many Friends’. Though the song means well, dealing with the more contemporary problem of people using social media to socialise, thus defeating the objective of creating intimate friendships, it suffers from its lyrics. The tracks chorus, which is supposed to hit home the purpose of the song, is rather vague and, frankly, uninspired. With such a relevant subject, the track somewhat leaves more to be desired from its lyricism.

‘Loud Like Love’ does have a lot to say for itself in other areas, though. For instance, the band has no trouble in performing a vast array of easy-to-chew instrumentation consisting of looped pianos, industrial beats and reverb. This allows vocalist Brian Malko to roam free with his vivid subject lyricism and trademark whiney vocals. The band probably demonstrates this best on the closing track, ‘Bosco’, a melancholic piano lead track that deals with the emotions of an intimate relationship.

With the exception of its more or less parody-like lyricism in one particular track, Placebo offer up an effort that is both easy on the ear and well meaning in areas. Such tracks as ‘Bosco’ and ‘Too Many Friends’ mean well in their subject matter and musicianship, though it’s evident that the latter track suffers from ill-inspired execution. Mixed in its content, yet evoking a listenable environment, ‘Loud Like Love’ is an LP that is easy to appreciate even with its flaws.

Written by Calv Robinson (@Calvparty)