Placebo – Never Let Me Go (2022) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Placebo – Never Let Me Go (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 57:42 minutes | 741 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © So Recordings

After nearly a decade between studio full-lengths, Placebo returned with one of the strongest efforts in their catalog, 2022’s excellent Never Let Me Go. Recording as a duo, the core songwriting pair of founders Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal benefits from this focused perspective, delivering a reliably artsy and stylish set of songs that longtime fans would expect — urgent alt-rock fortified with electrified glam fuzz — that somehow manages to revive the darkest ’90s alternative energy while remaining thoroughly contemporary with impeccable production quality. Three decades on, and Molko and Olsdal are also older and wiser, the hedonistic anthems of their youth giving way to intense existential ruminations, fear and panic, and just a brief suggestion of hope for a thoroughly broken world. One of the most distinctive vocalists of his time, Molko remains the main draw, whether he’s unleashing his angst and frustration on tracks such as the chaotic “Hugz” and churning “Twin Demons,” or wringing the only drops of optimism from the bittersweet, string-drenched “The Prodigal.” He delves into paranoia on “Surrounded by Spies” — whose creeping synths and claustrophobic atmospherics recall late-’90s Depeche Mode — and mourns our planet on the deceptively peppy “Try Better Next Time,” a sardonic dose of resignation about the world’s end. Meanwhile, Olsdal’s backing elevates the entirety of Never Let Me Go, from the intergalactic post-punk gallop of “Chemtrails” and the infectious groove of the scuzzed-out “Sad White Reggae” to the pensive, piano-driven “This Is What You Wanted” and the hypnotic Cure-meets-Depeche-Mode closer “Fix Yourself.” Additional highlights on this flawless set include the opening run of the clanging “Forever Chemicals” — a showcase of guitar distortion, pounding percussion, and digitized sci-fi unease — and standout single “Beautiful James,” a soaring moment of tenderness that swells atop squiggling synths and a wave of riffs. Despite the overwhelming emotions, Never Let Me Go is an exercise in control and expert execution that finds Placebo on another level of songwriting and point of view, a welcome surprise at this stage in their careers. – Neil Z. Yeung

1-1. Placebo – Forever Chemicals (05:09)
1-2. Placebo – Beautiful James (04:08)
1-3. Placebo – Hugz (03:51)
1-4. Placebo – Happy Birthday In The Sky (05:09)
1-5. Placebo – The Prodigal (04:46)
1-6. Placebo – Surrounded By Spies (05:14)
1-7. Placebo – Try Better Next Time (03:07)
1-8. Placebo – Sad White Reggae (03:25)
1-9. Placebo – Twin Demons (03:58)
1-10. Placebo – Chemtrails (04:31)
1-11. Placebo – This Is What You Wanted (04:11)
1-12. Placebo – Went Missing (05:05)
1-13. Placebo – Fix Yourself (05:01)



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