Album: MTV Unplugged
Record Label: Universal
Music Rating: 5/6
It took Placebo seven albums, numerous hit singles and a total of 21 years of band history before they got their own «MTV Unplugged» session. In other words, it was long overdue. At the same time, it was worth the wait. Placebo – currently consisting of Brian Molko (vocals & guitar) and Stefan Olsdal (bass & guitar) – held their acoustic concert on August 19th 2015 in London, the city in which the band was founded in 1994.
Despite what’s expected, «MTV Unplugged» is not an occasion where well-known Placebo hits are simply converted into similar acoustic versions. Some compositions are almost entirely reinterpreted, «Every You Every Me» (the rock track prominently featured on the soundtrack of the movie «Cruel Intentions» in 1999) first and foremost. Unfortunately, it’s this very reinterpretation that turns out to be one of the weakest songs on the album. The intoxicating rock track has been turned into a melancholic duet with the Dane Majke Voss Romme, aka Broken Twin, and hence loses its original attitude and soul.
The rest of the disc, however, is convincing. «For What It’s Worth», «Post Blue», «The Bitter End» and the Pixies cover «Where Is My Mind?» lose nothing of their original energy when performed acoustically. «Hold On To Me» and «Bosco» even manage to outperform their strong original versions, not least thanks to the string orchestra and the piano.
One can almost feel the magic that must have been in the air during the recordings of this «MTV Unplugged» concert, and since Placebo unite various rock genres in their music, many rock music listeners might be pleased to find this disc under their tree this Christmas.
Text: Stefanie Singh