How can this album have so few reviews? I'm astounded! I remember when I first heard a selection of tracks from the record on Radio 1 prior to its release. Quite justifiably I had expectations of something similar to `Garbage' and `Version 2.0' and so I was totally unprepared and yet very impressed by the new musical avenues Garbage chose to explore with their third studio album `Beautiful Garage', which is an album of the absolute purest grungy pop quality and easily my favourite Garbage offering to date.
This record might not be an example of Garbage at their darkest, but listening closely to the lyrics of many of the songs on this album you can tell that it's easily the most melancholy (themes of depression, suicide etc) and yet when combined with such unique instrumentation, resounding beats and rousing music the end result is something infused with a raging, positive energy and isn't in the least bit gloomy.
But then I felt it all went wrong with the tracks chosen to be released as singles and to represent this totally unique album. Track 2- `Androgyny' (8/10) was an obvious and probably a very wise choice for the initial single release- catchy, almost over-produced, but very mainstream. Where as `Shut Your Mouth' (7/10) I felt was just too obvious. It's solid, but somehow uninspired considering the exceptional variety of songs on the album. And then just when you think the record company will take a chance and prove to everyone how powerful a punch this album really packs- they go and release track 7- `Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)' (6/10), which is catchy, but basically fluff.
It's the experimental tracks (and the best in my opinion) that really deserved to be released. Songs such as track 3- `Can't Cry These Tears' (10/10), which completely blew me away the first time I heard it- as close to a ballad as Garbage will ever get- it's a soaring, intoxicating, unforgettable tune. Track 5- `Cup Of Coffee' (10/10) is a slow one, I admit, but it's undoubtedly my favourite song on the album- haunting, touching, with an inspired final line. Track 11- `Nobody Loves You' (9/10) (clearly James Bond-influenced) and `Untouchable' (9/10) are classic Garbage, but with high production values they stand out in the crowd.
Yes, there's a generous helping of the good old Garbage we know and love, but this is still the record I always associate with Garbage at their most experimental, their most daring, and ultimately their most successful. It's also the most enduring album in the Garbage catalogue for me personally.