Return to Black Market Music (thing)

Black Market Music finds Placebo going off into a darker and less understandable direction. It feels like not really left overs to me, but extras, songs that were good so they made a cd of them. It also contains what is perhaps their best song (out of many great songs) Special K.

There is something very decadent about this record to me. It's not quite as youthful as their self titled, nor as "the morning after" as Without You I'm Nothing, it's instead the lowest low after the highest high. At the time this was released I believe Brian Molko was really in a state of near self-destruction, and many songs have that feeling. It's the sound of a man fucking and drugging his way to death. Brian's cleaned up now but the dark druggy world of this cd certainly makes you happy he went through his "descent into darkness."

The record starts out with "Taste in Men" which is unfortunate though, for as good as it is it sounds a bit too much like "Pure Morning" which started of their last release. However unlike that song, which to me sounded like waking up after a night out, "Taste in Men" makes me think of something darker, a sort of jilted walk tor wards madness perhaps.

Next we speed up with Placebo's version of punk in the song "Days Before you Came." Again it gets darker, more ominous, "join the masquerade" Molko asks us.

"Special K" is such a wonderful song. I have so many words for it yet none come out. It's so twisted and odd, and yet quite loving, quite nice. Dark and melodic, with one of Placebo's best choruses. It's a twisted love song, throwing so many other thoughts and feelings into the mix.

"Spite and Malice" is perhaps the song most have conflicted feelings about. I include myself in that field, as the odd combination of the rapper (Justin Warfield or something like that) and Molko's depressed and withdrawn delivery an odd mix. However I sort of like it, it's a weird and bizzarely good song. I like the black metal screams in the chorus as they sing about "fucking in the streets".

"Passive Aggressive" begins an odd and experimental section of the record. The first time I heard this song was on the "Special K" single, and it was a dub song. The real song still has that kind of trippy feeling, it's just darker, and more depressive. The song has such an expansive sound, it really reminds me of Scots Mogwai except with Molko's voice, instead of none.

I'm unsure of what to think of "Black Eyed" for the most part. It's certainly an interesting song. It sounds like a man looking back at his broken history, and perhaps ahead. It's a light that was not there earlier, and perhaps won't be for the rest of the record.

"Blue American" is perhaps the oddest song on here. I have no concept of what to think about it. It's a good song though, but I think it's probably the weakest on here.

"Slave to the Wage" was another single off of this record, and one they made a video to. The video tells the story, although in an odd way. It's simply about someone trying to escape work. It's pretty much that simple. I like the song, it has an interesting vibe to it, with it's odd keyboards and effects laden sound. Pretty good song, a little different conceptually from the others around it, a odd man out so to say.

"Commercial for Levi" finds Placebo getting quieter, with some interesting lines like "you were always the one joking Trojan" which is interesting, as it uses poetic inversions in an odd way. In a way it sounds like a song to Molko himself. Don't let this fucked up world kill you it says. It stands as a song to anyone who desires to experiment with these sorts of things. Be careful. Or something like that. It's an odd short song.

"Haemoglobin" starts off the beginning of the end. Here we find the band return to where they left off at "Black Eyed", darker more twisted and emotionally disturbed. This is perhaps their most heavy song, it's a long drawn out climax to no where, and to get there they use more noise then I think they ever have. I love this song for its dark feeling, its dark message.

"Narcoleptic" is the center of this final trilogy of songs, it's quieter than the last song, less noisy, but no less dark. The song has the dreamy quality that it has been named. I wonder why...

"Peeping Tom" is the dark end to a dark and throughly odd record. Like most Placebo records it brings us to an end in a sentimental mode. However it is not quite the piano ballad of "Centrefolds", instead more of a dreamy twisting and yet sentimental end. It seems, like so many of their songs, tender, angry and loving and yet so dark so depressive, all at the same time. There is hope, yes, but it is not here quite yet, one only has to be paitent.

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