ALBUM REVIEW: “Battle for the Sun” by Placebo
The last time Placebo’s dark music settled on my ears it was 1999. Ten years later, lead singer Brian Molko’s creaky voice is still full of heartbreak, but Placebo, as an entity, seems to have lost its edge.Â Nevertheless, <i>Battle For The Sun</i> is strangely appealing. The album opens with the peculiarly titled track “Kitty Litter,” a super-charged rock song blended with vibrating vocals and a clap-happy chorus of “I need a change / I need a change / I need a change of skin.” Eroticism and self-loathing abound, crackling and sparking on every song. “Battle For The Sun” is seductive and lackadaisical, its lyrics delivered with deliberate calm, despite its seething message: “You are a black and heavy weight / And I will not participate / Dream brother / My killer / My lover.” “For What It’s Worth” is definitely cringe-worthy, oozing with cheesiness and big horns, yet manages to be one of the catchiest songs on the album. Strings appear on four of the tracks, and on “Julien,” they build tension and add texture to an otherwise bland song about desperation. <i>Battle For The Sun</i> is an attempt to breathe new life into an old career, and Placebo get an A for effort, but have far to go until they reach the sun.