Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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PLACEBO | Without You I’m Nothing
Selected by Rayna Khaitan
Without You I’m Nothing recently turned 20, but in no way seems dated. On the contrary, it remains all the more relevant—and freshly defiant—in a society that’s becoming less and less inclusive. Rather than glom onto major 1990s alternative scenes like Britpop, shoegaze, grunge or rave, Placebo embodied an amorphous, rebellious spirit that my friends and I, who frequented clubs called Perversion and Stigmata, readily understood.
With songs that delve deeply into taboo subjects and sordid feelings, Placebo’s sophomore album liberates those of us who feel relegated to the shadows. I was a senior in college when Without You I’m Nothing was released, and instantly responded to its nonconformist vibe.
More than 20 years later, in a world simmering with hatred and unacceptance, I appreciate the album all the more. Its brazen spirit is a rallying cry, showing people they don’t need to be in the darkness alone.