Meds

Placebo

Meds

For Placebo's fifth album, the band went back to basics—at least as much as an alternative/glam/goth/post-punk group can go back to basics. The Kills' Alison Mosshart throws a vocal behind Placebo frontman Brian Molko for the title track, while Michael Stipe duets for the betrayal-filled "Broken Promise." "Space Monkey" takes full advantage of the studio without being subservient to it. The grandeur here is much simpler than it had been in the past. "Infra-Red" adds a sense of alcoholic bitterness to its aggression, but most of the album's best songs have an autumnal vibe. "Follow the Cops Back Home" could be a Paul Westerberg ballad, such is its aimless longing and nameless frustration. It's a true beauty. "Post Blue" sounds like a cautionary tale with a narrator too tired to help anyone. "Pierrot the Clown" has a narrator who's "wallowing in sorrow, wearing a frown." A bad relationship is laid to rest on the album's closer, "Song to Say Goodbye," as the band finishes up its most forlorn release to date and seems happier with the weight off.

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