I came up riding the wave of post-grunge, shoe-gaze androgynous angst of the mid 90’s, so naturally my GenY heart was all a –flutter when Placebo announced the October 7th release date for their retrospective album, A Place for Us to Dream. Comprising of a double CD offering featuring 20 years of career-spanning classics like Every Me, Every You, Pure Morning, Special K, Nancy Boy, Black Eyed, Soulmates, The Bitter End, Special Needs (I could literally go on and on!), as well as an EP of previously unreleased material, called “Life Is What You Make It”.

The release will be further supported by a 9-city 20th anniversary tour in December, where lucky fans will be treated to old classics that haven’t seen the stage in years (the FOMO is real).

The announcement served as a platform with which the band launched the music video for their new single, “Jesus’ Son”. To be honest, my feelings on this new release are mixed. Michael Marotta calls the song “spirited”. I prefer the term “vanilla”. The signature angst, the pain, the substance-abuse addled despondency ironically struck with up-beat chords and near-pop catchiness, underscored by the innocent beauty of Brian Molko’s effeminate swoons – all of those complicated confluences of emotion that made Placebo interesting – are deafeningly missing from this new single.  The tribal artistic direction of the music video is a definite departure from Placebo’s oeuvre.

Twenty years is a long time for any rock band to successfully maintain a career, naturally behoving the artists of change, progression and evolution. In the same vein, twenty years is a long time for an old fan to adjust to change. Molko and co. took the plan and spun it sideways. But they are giving us die-hard purists 20 years of classics, to stave off the withdrawal.

Just like Special K.

Contributor: Larissa Fainberg