Teaser/Reader Annotation Speaking to the loners, the rejects, and the confused, Placebo's debut, self-titled album from the mid-nineties has attracted loyal followers from the beginning until now. From unforgettable guitar rifts to haunting melodies, this cd seems to capture the spirit of the outcast teenager.
Plot Summary Placebo's self-titled album is one riddled with expressions of teenage angst and turmoil. It follows the rush of emotions and problems of the teenagers who feel they are unable to find their place in the world, that something about them is just too different to find acceptance with the rest of the supposedly “normal” population. A great deal of the lyrics focus on the rejection of stereotypes, asking listeners to dig further and look beneath the skin to the true person and what he or she can offer. It also deals with the ambiguity of sexuality and the driving questions and experimentation that teenagers face concerning their orientation, asking the listener to be true to themselves and not fall into the expectations of the world. The album is a rock opera about the inherent questions and problems associated with being a teenager, feeling alone in the world, and unable to understand one's self.
Critical Evaluation The pure energy of this album brings to mind a glam rock version of Nirvana - an album reaching out to the teenagers that don't feel like they belong, the outcasts. It is the type of cd to which young adults can relate both to the expression of the lyrics and the beat of the instruments. The raw sound of the instruments, deliberately unpolished, brings to mind the grating and strife-filled years of the teenage experience. While later albums from the band feature a more melodious, almost melancholy, type of sound, this one uses the primal spirit to reflect the instinctual spirit of the teenager. This album, as most initial albums do, does suffer in one critical area: the song order. A more experienced band would have been able to arrange the songs to create a better flow through the album. The jumping feeling can be a bit of a distraction, but does not detract too terribly from the music itself.
About the Author Placebo is a British alternative rock band formed in 1994. The original three members were Brian Molko, singer; Stefan Olsdale, bassist; and Steven Hewitt, drummer. Between then and now there have been two other drummers – the first alternate doing the studio recording for the debut album while Hewitt was contractually bound to another band; the second, Steve Forrest, is currently with the band after Hewitt left in 2007. They have produced six studio albums between 1996 and 2009, not including a best of record.
The band prides itself on continually finding new sounds and re-inventing itself, presenting a different sound and experience with every album. They have a penchant for presenting an androgynous front, drawing from the glam rock era of attire and stage presence. Their sound has been described as a mixture of David Bowie, Nirvana, and Depeche Mode – drifting from raw and primal to soft and melodic. The themes of their songs, however, typically reflect the human condition and have psychological undertones. This mixture of darkness and truth have earned them a worldwide following and a culture of dedicated listeners.
Curriculum Ties Music
1)What are some of the prominent themes and metaphors found throughout the album?
2)Do you feel the unpolished sound of the album reflects the tone of the lyrics or should it have been more cleaned up?
Interest Age 16+
Challenge Issues Language, Sexuality, Transgender Issues, Homosexuality, Alcohol
1) Get reviews from teenagers - it is the controversy of this album that speaks to the youth
2) Refer to collection development policies
3) Helps teenagers educate themselves on what teenagers agree and disagree with about the negative aspects of life
Why is it included? It was one of my favorite as a young adult and really spoke to me.