Petite sex-rocker rings changes for fourth album

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Placebo – Sleeping With Ghosts

It’s odd to think of Placebo as being no longer relevant, as singer Brian Molko’s early after-the-horse-has-bolted bleatings on the subject of androgyny and bisexuality surely saw them start out as the most irrelevant band on the planet. But now there’s doubt in the Placebo camp itself, what with Muse and JJ72 upping the stakes in guitar-based melodrama. Their solution is to recruit electro-guru Jim Abbiss but, though he adds some delicious keyboard snatches and has “Something Rotten” sounding like Portishead produced by Liam Howlett, he can’t salvage much from the band’s often tedious three-chord bustlings or Molko’s lamely repetitious lyrics. Must try harder.