Then I realise that, no, Placebo simply have a narrow spectrum of talent and Molko's lyrics are among the most inane in rock.
The singer, who spent part of a wandering childhood in Dundee, is far better with the eyeliner than the one-liner, which is partly why his band has nonetheless appealed to a certain following for almost 20 years despite cranking out more or less the same album with minor variations seven times in a row.
Loud Like Love is undeniably one of their better efforts: the title track shoots straight onto their greatest hits list while the insistent snare drum patter of Begin The End augments the repetitive roll of the lyrics. But consider the opening lines of Too Many Friends: "My computer thinks I'm gay/I threw that piece of junk away/on the Champs-Elysees". An otherwise great song - tuneful and poignant - is torpedoed by adolescent doggerel (the following line crams in "communiqué", "superhighway" and "say" for overkill) and, yet again, Placebo can't be taken seriously.