Placebo - For What it's Worth

Craig Broad 18/05/2009

Rating: 4/5

Placebo have sold over ten million albums worldwide from the creation of their five studio albums, their forthcoming sixth release 'Battle For The Sun' looks to change the critical negativity that was shone upon Placebo with 'Meds' starting with latest single 'For What It's Worth'.

No-one could argue with the word stagnant if put towards the release of Meds and what followed was ultimately a shake-up resulting in a change of labels (From EMI to PIAS) and a change in drummers (Enter new drummer, Steve Forrest) and after the new albums lead track 'Battle For The Sun' became available for free download via the bands website, you could sense reviewers everywhere sitting up, grabbing their pens poised for write-ups of Placebo's return to form with a fresh upbeat but still melodic nature. Has 'For What It's Worth' got the same charms as 'Battle For The Sun' though, does it bode well for the forthcoming album release or has such a shake-up in the Placebo camp done nothing except highlight that Molko and co are just dragging along a dead horse?

Placebo have for many, always been a great singles band, even Meds contained great singles and 'For What It's Worth' is no different from any Placebo single release, a great one. While it may not slap you in the face from the off like previous Placebo singles, the beauty of 'From What It's Worth' comes from the moment you put the headphones on and listen carefully, for it is in this moment that you realise the experimentation within the track that Placebo haven't perhaps shown before with howling female backing vocals and a backing band that has more in common with a jazz outfit than anything Placebo have released previously. As always though, lyrics could potentially bring this single down for the listener. It isn't that they are terrible, they never are, they are just terribly predictable with it's rhyming couplets that we've heard in pretty much every Placebo song to date and something that I for one, would have hoped Molko would have progressed beyond after so many years writing.

'For What It's Worth' may not pack the same refreshing punch that 'Battle For The Sun' did but if the album manages to sustain the progression shown through either single, you can guarantee that I for one will be in the queue to pick up the forthcoming album foaming at the mouth in great expectation, thought Meds was rubbish? Check out 'For What It's Worth' maybe it will surprise you.