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Placebo

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Album Review

The key to Placebo's sound is singer/guitarist Brian Molko, whose impersonation of a woman goes far beyond his appearance and into his singing voice. His trio brings together various influences — the epic, noisy "Chicago sound," late-'70s prog rock, and late-'80s "college rock" — but boils them down into fairly conventional, guitar-heavy melodrama, with the sort of opaque and angst-ridden lyrics usually found in that genre. That's not to say that Placebo's sound is boring; churning guitars and direct, heavy basslines give the album a good deal of strength, and Molko is able to write moving, gritty melodies and fairly clever lyrics. Placebo may sound like a mix between the Smashing Pumpkins and Rush — and the levels of melodrama on the album may stretch far beyond most people's tolerance — but it's well-written and performs enough variations on those genres to keep it interesting.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Due to their penchant for androgynous attire/makeup and raw, punky guitar riffs, Placebo have been described by some as a glam version of Nirvana. The multinational band was formed by singer/guitarist Brian Molko (part Scottish and American descent, but raised in England) and Swedish bassist Stefan Olsdal. Both members had previously attended the same school in Luxembourg, but they didn't cross paths properly until 1994 in London, England. Briefly called Ashtray Heart and influenced by the likes...
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Placebo, Placebo
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