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The very idea of a covers album may have connotations of a concept employed by waning pop artists taking a stab at swing music. However, this collection of re-readings from post-Britpop neo-glam bastions Placebo is an entirely different entity. continue→

A smattering of B sides, live favourites and other rarities make Covers a one-artist compilation album as opposed to a from-scratch covers project, and it functions all the better for it.

Originally released as a bonus disc to accompany 2003 album Sleeping With Ghosts, then given a limited standalone push in 2007, Covers finally warrants a full release in its own right. And headed up by their sullen, cerebral take on Running Up That Hill (a long-established Placebo catalogue staple), its appeal, unlike its sporadic life as an album thus far, is immediate.

An interpretation of Depeche Mode’s I Feel You is among the more dependable covers, as is their 20th Century Boy, originally recorded for the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack. Elsewhere, a radio session take on the Pixies’ Where Is My Mind – surprisingly polished for a live version – operates as both a tribute and a display of fandom towards a band whose influence in Placebo’s output is unmistakable.

Its decade-straddling compilation aspect makes Covers all the more extraordinary, its constancy completely steadfast. The lone exception to the brilliance comes via an oddly faithful version of Boney M’s Daddy Cool, which has to be consumed as the side dish to a sizeable main portion of irony to stomach; and yet, its clunky audacity is admirable.

Where an album of this type is often one for the fans, it’s doubtful there’s a Placebo devotee that doesn’t already have a copy of Covers knocking about. Rather, it’s something to turn the heads of the music fans for whom Placebo have never fully broken the surface, and even more commendably for an album without a solitary Placebo original, it sells their incomparable brand of dark, licentious rock beautifully.

La sola idea de un álbum de covers puede tener connotaciones de un concepto empleado por artistas pop en decadencia. Sin embargo, esta colección de re-lecturas post-Britpop, por los bastiones del neo-glam, Placebo, es enteramente diferente. Un puñado de caras B, algunos favoritos en vivo y otras rarezas hacen que el álbum sea un recopilatorio en lugar de un proyecto de covers.. y funciona mucho mejor.

Originalmente lanzado como bonus de Sleeping With Ghosts en 2003, y luego en digital en 2007, finalmente consigue Covers su propio lanzamiento. Encabezada por su hosca, cerebral toma de Running Up That Hill (un clásico de Placebo de larga data), su atractivo, a diferencia de su esporádica vida como álbum, es inmediata.

Una interpretación de I Feel You de Depeche Mode es de los más fidedignos, al igual que 20th Century Boy, originalmente grabado para la banda sonora de Velvet Goldmine. Una toma en la radio de, Where Is My Mind de Pixies, sorprendentemente pulida para una versión en vivo – funciona de homenaje y muestra de fanatismo hacia una banda cuya influencia en la producción de Placebo es inconfundible.

Una década a horcajadas de compilados hace del disco lo más extraordinario, su tenaz constancia. La única excepción a la brillantez viene a través de una versión extrañamente fiel de Daddy Cool de Boney M, que tiene que ser consumido como plato de acompañamiento, una buena porición de ironía estomacal, sin embargo su torpe audacia es admirable.

Cuando un disco de este tipo es a menudo para fans, es dudoso que un devoto de la banda no tenga ya su copia de Covers golpeando alrededor. Más bien, es algo para voltear las cabezas de los amantes de la música que nunca han roto la superficie de Placebo. –Al Fox

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