Review of Sleeping With Ghosts' and 'Meds' Album by Placebo

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Placebo's debut album, the band have been reissuing each of their landmark albums on both limited-run coloured vinyl and permanent standard black vinyl.

Placebo Sleeping With Ghosts' and 'Meds' Album

'Sleeping With Ghosts' and 'Meds' are the final two in the series of reissues. Now 13 years old, 'Sleeping With Ghosts' shows singer Brian Molko coping with the memories of relationships gone by and exorcising those demons. Perhaps slightly more accessible than previous releases, 'Sleeping With Ghosts' charted at 11 in the UK charts back in 2003. An impassioned, rollicking album, it spawned 4 singles for the band: 'The Bitter End', 'Special Needs', 'English Summer Rain', and 'This Picture'. Less grungy than their earlier, and slightly heavier, albums, 'Sleeping With Ghosts' has Placebo realising their more electronic rock side.

'The Bitter End' is one of the few songs on the album echoing their earlier sounds. Full of driving guitars racing to a loud and frantic close; it's the definitive sound of a painful break up. 'Protect Me From What I Want' is more reserved than the rest of the record, a mournful look back at a past relationship.

'Meds', now a decade old, charted at 7 in the UK charts and had more commercial success than its predecessor. A much more-stripped back album than 'Sleeping With Ghosts', it found the band moving away from keyboard-led music for the most part. Molko has since commented that the album marked a difficult time for the band, with drummer Steve Hewitt leaving just after the album's release. The band have never been known for their upbeat themes, however this album feels just a little bleaker than the rest. Despite that, tracks like 'Infra-Red' and 'One of a Kind' are still catchy and enjoyable. On the whole, however, it's just missing something that the previous albums had. It trundles on, with some songs forgotten the second they end. Darkness is something Placebo have always relished in, but 'Meds' seemed to forget there was an audience there to listen. However, for the hardcore Placebo fan, this reissue is a definite must-have to complete the collection.

'Sleeping With Ghosts' is out now, with 'Meds' due to be reissued on 8th April 2016

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