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Placebo’s “Loud Like Love” deals with youth and celebrates teenage emotions

As the seventh studio album of the British alternative rock band Placebo, “Loud Like Love” presents itself as the voice of an angst-ridden teenager wailing about love. The high-pitched vocals of lead singer Brian Molko backed by the guitar riffs by guitarist-bassist Stefan Olsdal and the drum-thumping beats of Steve Forrest sing about craving love and craving distance.

As the title track of the album, “Loud Like Love” starts things off good and strong with a fantastic guitar riff backed by an awesome drum beat. The upbeat tempo coupled with the lyrics “For all of our youth, we have craved them, their beauty and their truth” and the two-worded chorus, where Brian Molko sings “Breathe breathe breathe breathe believe believe” makes it a perfect teen anthem song. Listening to this for the first time made me imagine that I was at a concert with a few close friends, jumping around, celebrating what a beautiful mess our youth was.

The second track on the album, “Scene of the Crime,” continues the teen anthem style with the clapping beat in the background as Molko wails about the uncertainty of love and lust. The clapping beat is repetitive yet infectious. The next track, titled “Too Many Friends,” is a favorite as it discusses the effects of technology on meeting new people. The lyrics, however, are not what makes this track so good. The band introduces a nice dose of piano and synth to the album’s sound here, and it somehow works perfectly with Molko’s vocals. On top of that, the song’s official video on YouTube, featuring acclaimed writer Bret Easton Ellis doing a voiceover, is pretty darn cool. Track number four, titled “Hold On To Me,” opens with a string introduction and features Molko reciting a monologue as the guitars wail in the background. As the monologue states, this track may make you feel like you are being transformed into awakened multidimensional beings.

Following “Hold On To Me,” the album then proceeds to “Rob The Bank,” which is essentially about loving someone so much that you would rob a bank for them. The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and the bass in this track is a real highlight as it takes a leading part in the melody. The piano comes back in “A Million Little Pieces.” The track takes a somber turn in terms of both the lyrics and the sound. With lines like “But I’m leaving this worry town / Please, no grieving my love, understand,” it’s the closest thing to a ballad on the album. The next track, “Exit Wounds,” continues with the somber lyrics and sound. The difference between this track and “A Million Little Pieces” is that the piano takes on a more “electric” sound while the guitar takes a backseat. Things are taken up a notch once the song hits the chorus and the guitar works splendidly with the synth. With lyrics like “Want you so bad I can taste it / But you are nowhere to be found,” the song deals with something relatable: Craving the attention and love of another.

“Purify” starts things off with a dance-y beat. This is the track you should listen to should you feel the need to dance or yell or both. The next track, “Begin the End,” features a simple yet lovely guitar riff playing alongside a sparse drumbeat. Though it is not a typical ballad, it is probably one of the more downtempo and atmospheric tracks found on the album. On the final track, “Bosco,” the lovely piano and strings carry Molko’s voice as he sings about feeling as if one is not worth another’s love and care. It’s a great track if you are looking for something a lot slower than the rest of the tracks on this album.

All in all, the entire album is more upbeat than downtempo as it sings about love in all of its complexity. But for those who prefer the downtempo sounds of this band rather than their upbeat, crazy sounds, you will still find something to enjoy on this album.