I cannot precisely recall the first time I heard the band Placebo. It could be as a soundtrack title of a TV series or on the radio. However, the album Sleeping With Ghosts was the first one I bought and since then I kept on purchasing with great joy their others. Moreover, listening to this album brings up beautiful thoughts of a wonderful time. I connect often music to specific moments I experienced and every time I listen to it again I reminisce about it. However, the time linked to this album, I will keep for myself 😉
- Release: March 2003
- 1. Bulletproof Cupid
- 2. English Summer Rain
- 3. This Picture
- 4. Sleeping With Ghosts
- 5. The Bitter End
- 6. Something Rotten
- 7. Plasticine
- 8. Special Needs
- 9. I’ll Be Yours
- 10. Second Sight
- 11. Protect Me From What I Want
- 12. Centrefolds
Their debut album starts with a solely instrumental song, which prepares you perfectly for an electronic, very emotional and at the same time cold album.
I particularly enjoy the title English Summer Rain as the vocals and melody transmit the feelings very clearly. It is about that things in life stay the same and that they will never change, like the rain in England. The repetitive melodies combined with the uninflected voice of the singer Brian Molko lend this track even mysterious touch. In the second half of the song, it gets a bit powerful through the speed. Obviously, this track is utterly suitable for rainy days, but not only.
The next track I would like to present you, has the same name as the entire album – Sleeping With Ghosts. This title is probably the most doleful one and much softer than other songs. It depicts with the lines “Soulmate never dies” how true friendship/relationship will never end. This is actually also the subject for the album as it deals with relationships ending badly, falling in the same old rut and eternal love. I especially love the emotions put into the song. One can clearly feel the hurt, passion, effeteness and affection.
The fifth song called The Bitter End represents the pure opposite of the previous track Sleeping With Ghosts. It took my quite long to figure the meaning of this song out and still, I am not sure if I got it right. First, I thought it is about someone breaking up and ending in a great dispute. However, after rereading the lyrics, I got more and more the feeling that it is about two people trying to end their relationship without getting too much damaged although it is for both clear that there will be scars left. Let me know what you think. Nevertheless, this song is the most aggressive one on this album, at least, the most aggressive as Placebo can get.
I was not precise when I wrote above that Sleeping With Ghosts is the softest track because Special Needs is as soft as the other with some short exceptions when the music gets louder and more energetic. Deciphering the lyrics and understanding them is as difficult as the ones from the band Modest Mouse with one big difference. Placebo’s texts are very meaningful and packed with deep emotions, but the ones from Modest Mouse tend to be in some way strange, puzzling and silly and often with no bigger meaning or emotions behind.
I searched on the Internet in order to find the correct meaning of the song Special Needs and finally I was successful. However, the site I came up with is odd and, even odder is the supposed meaning of this song:
“The tale told by a celebrity that is now in a wheelchair. And he is worrying about how others will remember him.”
A handicapped movie star never came through my mind while listening to this song 🙂 But when you pay attention to the lyrics it makes sense but the song is much more than just telling this story. It includes all the feelings with reminiscing about better times and being scared that people who are important to you will be forgetting who you are.
I’ll be yours is, on the one hand, an immensely strong love song and, on the other hand, the scariest and horrific track on this album. It starts with innocent lyrics where somebody tells their partner that they will do everything for them.
I’ll be your water
Bathing you clean
Your liquid peace
I’ll be your reefer
You’ll breathe me in
Though, listening more into the song it gets more disturbing and creepy. It is like this person wanting to support their partner will be fulfilling all their needs by changing their own personality. It gets to a point where I have the feeling that this person tries to engulf their partner and this only in the name of love. This suffocating sensation created leaves me often shivering. And if this song is not spine-chilling enough then you have to check out the song Protect Me From What I Want, which is probably dealing with somebody overcoming an addiction and imploring the beloved one helping with this difficult time.
The last song of this album Centrefolds is perfect for ending this album. The sound is calming and relaxing. However, this would not be Placebo if the song does not concern obsession and self-degradation.
This album will let you experience feelings of unfulfilled love, pain, self-doubt and passion.
My rating: 10/10