Placebo Sleeping With Ghosts (Virgin) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
I confess a guilty fondness for Brian Molko's strained, pained, slightly nasal whine. It all started years ago when a crush of mine slapped Pure Morning on a silly mix tape. But my sentimental attachment isn't enough to make me love Sleeping With Ghosts. It's a decidedly bipolar album, veering wildly between manic cranked-up big-guitar rock dirge and mope-along ballads. There are some strong moments -- This Picture, the obvious lead single, is a marvellous marriage of fizzy post-punk indie pop and tinny Pet Shop Boys-style upbeat disco -- but there's way too much filler. And the whole tortured artist act is getting a little tired.