Track Review: Placebo – Beautiful James

Androgynous indie giants, Placebo, tease their upcoming album with latest single release, Beautiful James. The track hits all the key features that make this an instant Placebo classic: fuzzy, aggressive downstrokes, melodic synths and an easy-to-remember, barebones chorus.

With a voice like no other, Brian Molko’s assertive tones strike the ominous balance of sounding detached and void of emotion, whilst brimming with sentiment at the same time – a skill that is fully realised in Beautiful James.

The sincerity and passion of the song is authentic, and the band have turned up the angst dial to eleven. Of the lyrics, a statement accompanied Beautiful James’s release: “If the song serves to irritate the squares and the uptight, so gleefully be it. But it remains imperative for me that each listener discovers their own personal story within it – I really don’t want to tell you how to feel.”

Dare it be said, this is Placebo at their late-nineties best? Perhaps not. But the track will go down very well with the well-established Placebo fraternity. Beautiful James is somewhat of a revival and return to form, and a reminder of Placebo’s caliber as artists.


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