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In a beautiful written piece for the New York Times, Trevor Noah paints a picture of his childhood with his mother

Placebo - Sleeping with Ghosts

2008-10-02 13:51

After all the soft rock rubbish, talentless warbling and mindless electronic mush that is spewed out onto the airwaves, it's a pleasure to listen in Placebo's new album.

The album is contradictory - both dark and uplifting. But whatever your state of mind, it's beautiful. It's as much an album for introspection, as one for slam dancing. It confronts feelings of nostalgia and regret, bad relationships and loss of love, moving on, wising up and laying your ghosts to rest.

There's good balance of gentle tracks and urgent, foot-stomping tracks, but a dark tone spans the whole album. This doesn't mean it's a depressing album in the least - if anything the darkness, and the accompanying antagonism inherent in many of the songs, is actually uplifting - as if the songwriter has moved past the depression of love lost and grown through the experience.

It's as if someone has thieved our thoughts and put them to music. In an obsessive relationship? Then you'll relate to "I'll be yours" - an obsessive - or reassuring - song depending on our state of mind. Want to put your ex in their place? "Second Sight" can be your anthem ('walk away to save your face / you never were a genius').

There isn't one 'filler' track on the album.

However, the song that remains in my head long after I've switched the CD off is "This Picture". The combination of the metallic sounding opening vocals, combinedwith Brian Molko's haunting voice, the strident guitar chords and lyrics create a sublime song.

But each of the songs on the album have the capacity to be favourites - it just depends what space you're currently occupying. If you're into the likes of Massive Attack, or talented, thoughtful rock, you'll like this album.

Some critics say SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS is not as good as WITHOUT YOU I'M NOTHING (1998), others believe it's Placebo's best ever. Either way, it's definitely worth owning.

- Melissa De Kock

Its themes of nostalgia, regret, lost love are like your own experiences stolen and put to music.


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