Photographers: Alex Weston; Brian Molko; Stefan Olsdal.
A Place for Us to Dream: 20 Years of Placebo celebrates the nihilistic English alt-rock veterans' first two decades via a handsome two-disc set that also boasts a 32-page book of pictures curated by co-founders Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal. Opening with the band's propulsive 1998 hit "Pure Morning," the perfect distillation of Placebo's seedy Suede-meets-Harvey Danger brand of goth and Brit-pop-tinged glam rock, A Place for Us to Dream drops a little fan bait early on via the soaring new single "Jesus' Son." Less sordid than live staples like "Nancy Boy," "Taste in Men," and "The Bitter End," all three of which are included here, it retains the group's nervy energy, but leans harder on the anthemic side of things. Obviously, the collection's biggest selling point over 2004's Once More with Feeling: Singles 1996-2004, is the inclusion of post-Sleeping with Ghosts gems like "Meds," "Infra Red," "Too Many Friends," and Molko and Olsdal's brooding rendering of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill." Placebo have always been a solid singles band, and A Place for Us to Dream delivers the kind of easy, bullet point retrospective that newbies and casual fans can get behind. Longtime listeners will already have these songs -- "Jesus' Son" also appears on the 2016 Life's What You Make It EP -- but between the booklet and the nice mix of radio and album edits, there's plenty here for even the most ardent Placebo follower to sink their teeth into. ~ James Christopher Monger