#15 – Pierrot the Clown


Artist – Placebo
Album – Meds
Year – 2006
Genre – Alternative/Art Rock

I’m just going to dive right into the review for this one. So here we go.

The first thing you’ll notice about this song is how stripped down it feels. It’s very simple musically, but it’s a song in which you need to look beneath the surface to discover just how beautiful the song is. A muted drum loop drives the song, and it feels as if a heavy weight lays over the surface of the music. Delicately strummed electric and acoustic guitars add somber chords to a background of string synths and a glockenspiel. It’s very modest, and that feeling is reflected in singer Brian Molko’s beautifully lonely lyrics. The verses deal with, I think, a lover who is beaten down in a relationship. They are so in love with their partner that they are willing to endure any physical or emotional pain or to just be with this person. Molko’s lyrics depict a person so broken that they are bruised, “the bruises turn to yellow, the swelling goes down” and emotionally played with “remember all the things you’d say, as your promises rang hollow.” However, the song’s narrator is begging to be loved, and he or she expects to see their partner every day. Molko’s voice wavers and feels somberly modest in it’s delivery. It’s only fair to describe his voice in this song as reflecting the character, only wanting to be loved and willing to give everything for it.

Sadness is heavy here, and the instrumentation adds this encompassing, sweeping feel to show how deeply the narrator’s love is. It’s all he lives for, and it is his everything. The chorus truly shows how much the partner is needed, as this person is waiting for them “wearing a frown.” Until he or she comes to visit, they are sad and heartbroken. The bridge actually feels somewhat joyful, and for good reason. It explains how the main character dreams of their partner all the time, and the music is grand and glowing, fitting the moment perfectly. The verses and chorus repeat, and the song continues with this desperation until the song finishes.

I apologize for not talking about the music more, but it is hard to with lyrics that tell such a story, at least to me. The music is very befitting of the song. Its beautiful texture and simplicity capture the wonder of what love is, but yet it keeps a morose feel because of how the notion of love is being used in the main character’s manipulation. This song should be on everyone’s sad songs list. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking story of when love turns into pain, told beautifully by Placebo and Brian Molko. His voice, the words, and the music combine to paint this picture of despair in a breathtaking way, like a beautiful painting.

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