on 22 January 2008
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.
on 28 September 2001
Beautifulgarbage is just as the title says. Its garbage, at their most beautiful. As the album is so diverse, the only way to describe it properly is to do a song by song review.
1. Shut Your Mouth. Good. This song is a grower. Some of the lines really stick in your head, and there are some quite clever lyrics. Shirley's singing at the end is very similar to her singing at the end of "Temptation Waits", the opening track on Version 2.0.
2. Androgyny. Hmm ... fans of the first two albums will probably have found this track highly disappointing. Far too poppy. If you fall into this category, then please don't let your (probably immense) dislike of this track stop you from buying the album. God knows why this one made it onto the album, let alone as the choice for the first single.
3. Can't Cry These Tears. A strong track that informs you, after the horror of Androgyny, that the old magic is still there. It has a really Christmassy feel! A real singalong number, really reminds the me of Angelfish in a big way, especially the last song on their album - "The End". Have a listen, and you'll see what I mean. It's a very 60s sounding song, and quite poppy but not in a bad way. Apparently it might be a single, but I think it is too explorative to be one, its more garbage trying out an idea than traditional of their music style.
4. Till The Day I Die. Hmm ... a bit to poppy for my liking, but the verse are kindy cool and catchy, and compared to Androgyny, it's GOLDEN.
5. Cup Of Coffee. A wonderful beautiful perfect song. More please! It sums up obsession with its lyrics, sound, everything. Its just so sweet and sad! The album is worth buying for. This one alone.
6. Silence Is Golden. Good, old-style, first album style garbage with intelligent lyrics and lots of guitar ... but what else would you expect from garbage, hmm?
7. Cherry Lips. Again. Poppier than some of their earlier material, but not disappointingly so. Celebratory, fun, positive. Has been selected for single number 2.
8. Breaking Up The Girl. More traditional garbage, as if we needed reminding why we like them. Not really a stand out track, but then again, I prefer the slow songs on this album to the fast ones. In fact, this song is another one that really grew on me. And its another one that's great to sing along to. It is likely to be single number 3.
9. Drive You Home. This, like "Cup of Coffee", is beautifully sad. listen to the honest lyrics, lie back and let it take you over. Another one that makes the album worth buying.
10. Parade. Makes you want to get up off dance and headbang. Comfortingly rocking and has some anti trendy lyrics "Let's burn the factories, where they make all the wannabes. Let's burst all the bubbles that brainwash the masses".
11. Nobody Loves You. DARK, MORBID, DEPRESSING. Reminiscent of such tracks as "A Stroke of Luck" and "My Lover's Box", though perhaps with a more negative outlook on life.
11. Untouchable. Too poppy. Better than the god forsaken "Androgyny" but not great. I like the beats at the start, but it just never really seems to get going properly - it acts as though its going to build up into a huge chorus, (as with the poppy verse on "When I grow Up" followed by the heavier chorus) but never does.
12. So Like A Rose. Is it really over 6 mins long? Because I don't notice. It pulls you in, and glides along. clever and interesting lyrics which I think will ring true for a lot of people "Baby thinks he's dying Lost inside his bedroom Mommy won't stop crying And daddy's always working"
on 20 September 2001
This album is without doubt the band's best yet !(and I consider the previous album to be full of top quality songs) The content is brilliantly well balanced "Shut Your Mouth" -strong punchy opener, "Androgyny" staccatto start -leading to a must-play-again chorus, "Cup Of Coffee" (my favourite track)-gorgeously sad ballad -Shirley has searched her very soul to produce these achingly moving lyrics. "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)" happy-go-lucky number. "Untouchable" -tango-style with a wonderful back beat to it and the last track -"So Like A Rose " -again Shirley has come up with some powerful lyrics -this one's about the death of a child. If you like any of garbage's previous work -you will adore this one -a must buy.
on 20 November 2001
Version 2.0 was a good album, Beautiful Garbage i would have to say is better.............
As many have pointed out the sound tends towards pop on numerous occasions but this certainly is not a bad thing. Version 2.0 had much of the same, Beautiful Garbage is a diverse experience.
Starting off with Shut Your Mouth was not perhaps the best of decisions, to me it is one of the weaker songs. This said it is also like the 'Garbage of old', angry and tough in sound.
Highlights on the album, of which there are plenty come in the form of the excellent Cherry Lips (the best song on the album in my opinion), the haunting chilled sounds of Cup Of Coffee and So Like A Rose, the pop sounding Untouchable and Breaking Up The Girl and the truly beautiful ballad, Drive You Home. Most of the album is good and varied. Till The Day I Die, Parade and Androgyny being pleasant but nothing to make them really stand out in an album of good songs. The few let downs come in the form of the sickly sweet, tacky Can't Cry These Tears, the headache inducing Silence Is Golden and the somewhat dull Nobody Loves You.
Taking Garbage to another level and with loads of possible future singles this album is a must have!
on 8 November 2001
This, Garbage's third album, may have the fanbase split down the middle, with many claiming it is too poppy and a huge disappointment. Well, I have 1 question: Why? Garbage have always been about spiky pop music shrouded in guitars (Stupid Girl, Special, Queer: need I go on?), and although this album may be (slightly) less guitar led than it's predecessors, all the Garbage prerequisites are present and correct. The production is instantly recognisable as Garbage, if slightly toned down from the aural attack that was Version 2.0, and it's as shiny and lovingly crafted as ever. There are some Garbage-by-numbers tracks in the pot (no bad thing). For instance, the anthemic Parade is most reminiscent of Version 2.0, whilst the opening Shut Your Mouth is Shirley in snarling, bitchy, Supervixen mode a la Vow, Subhuman and Only Happy When It Rains (and is one of the standout tracks amongst very tough competition), complete with screeching guitars and a frenetically brilliant drum pattern. Til The Day I Die is this album's Not My Idea with record scratching overload, and Breaking Up The Girl is the twin of Special with its wonderful harmonies and smooth progression. It is however, far superior due to its more organic sound. Nobody Loves You is a murder ballad in the vein of A Stroke Of Luck or #1 Crush, only much darker and more menacing.
There are, of course, a few ballads thrown in for good measure, but they are more heartbreakingly beautiful than anything that has gone before. Miss Manson's lyrics have lost their inhibitions, and she now seems more able to express her own experiences in less generic terms. The pinnacle of this is probably Cup Of Coffee, which is a song with which everyone can identify: "So no of course we can't be friends/Not while I'm still this obsessed...It took a cup of coffee/To proove that you don't love me". The sentiment is raw and biting, and demands tears from your eyes. Drive you Home cunjures up similar emotions, but is notable for being a practically acoustic track, which allows Shirley's vocals and lyrics to take the limelight like never before, and rip your heart to shreds.
The rest of the album is a sign that Garbage is widening its musical horizons by experimenting with new sounds and styles. The much-maligned single, Androgyny, is a major achievement: it is no mean feat to gel 2 such diverse musical styles (the R&B of the verses with the rocking chorus) together so convincingly. Then there is another of the album's highlights (and next single) Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!). With it's handclaps and bells, this is a huge musical departure for the band, but they pull it off with conviction. Shirley's vocals are (almost) girlish, but the subversive meaning of the song lyrics are in direct contrast to the musical style: it is inspired by the book "Sarah" by J.T. Leroy, which is the story of a young rent-boy.
Garbage even give a nod to 60's girl groups and the Phil Spector era with Can't Cry These Tears. This doesn't actually work as well as many of their other experiments, and although not a bad song, it certainly isn't an album highlight.
Considering all the fuss that has been made about this record and it's pop tendencies, it seems strange that only one song here constitutes pop in it's purest sense: Untouchable. And guess what? It's amazing. The lyrics are downright evil, as the Supervixen plots her revenge against some poor soul. Shirley's menacing whisper only accentuates the sentiment: "I swear I'll be the one/To bring you down." As with Cherry Lips, the contrast between the lighthearted sound of the music and the meaning of the lyrics only serve to intensify matters.
So Beautifulgarbage, it turns out, is an absolute masterpiece. More reminiscent of the eponymous debut than Version 2.0, it is eclectic and diverse. Garbage is not content to stick to a comfortable formula. They refuse to stagnate. This is clearly a transitional, experimental record, but it works anyway. And if this is transition, I can't wait for album number 4 when they have found a new niche to occupy.
on 12 October 2001
This is a pop album.If your expecting the Garbage of old you will be dissapointed.If however you approach this album with open ears you will be reworted with intelligent pop songs with strong hooks in a contemporary production.The guitars are lower in the mix this time, but the new direction makes the album more fun to listen to.Though the album is not a masterpiece-it is surely worth getting into- that is if you like spikey pop....
on 6 October 2001
The third Garbage album contains all the hallmarks you would expect - pumping electronica, wailing guitars, samples played backwards - and yet it trancends their previous work. Manson's vocals seem to have more breadth than anything she has previously recorded - from the whispery 'So Like a Rose' to the shouty ending of 'Silence is Golden' and everything in between. What the previous album (Version 2.0) lacked was a few delicate tracks, something Garbage handled so well on their debut album with 'Milk'. This new collection has several slower moments - the gem being an absolute masterpiece of a track with 'Cup of Coffee', a haunting tune concerning rejection. The usual up-tempo rock-pop tunes are here as well - 'Shut Your Mouth', 'Untouchable' et al. Varied and quite brilliant!
on 18 October 2001
In a time where, to me, it seems like more and more bands are following this "stay in one spot and don't move", "more of the same" formula of song-writing - especially across multiple albums - Beautiful Garbage is a much needed breath of fresh air.
I've been a fan of Garbage since their first CD and I have to say that this is probably my favorite of them all. It all comes down to one thing for me: Variety; and there is no lack of it on this CD.
Some would complain that they've lost that "sound" that they had on their first two CD's.. well, I agree and I disagree. It's not as dominant in the music as it was before, but it's still there. This is Garbage every bit as much as the first two were; just in a more matured and more diverse form. This is a good thing.
Stand-out tracks for me are "Can't Cry These Tears", which is a very fun song hailing back to a sort of 50's or 60's "doo-wop" sound. Awesome track. "Till The Day I Die" is an equally fun song, with its poppy sound and turn-table mixing worked in.. the harmony of "farewell... farewell.." at the end is a perfect touch to close out this tune. "Cup of Coffee" - well.. what can be said about that... amazing, beautiful, haunting, moving, goosebump raising. This is Shirley Manson at her saddest and most emotional vocally; and the emotion is conveyed very sincerely. The music supports that sadness perfectly. "Untouchable"... for some reason I think of a song by Britney Spears when I hear this one, but I can't think of which one.. the difference is.. I'm not a fan of Britney by a long shot, but I love this song! :-)
All in all, this is a very very solid junior release from Garbage and, if this is an indication of the direction they're moving in, I welcome it with open ears!
Well worth 5 stars.
on 11 January 2002
I have always known of Garbage and have always loved tracks such as Stupid Girl and Milk but have never bought one of their albums. Having heard the two songs Androgyny and Cherry Lips as well as seeing Garbage appear on Jools Holland I decided to purchase the album and it literally blew me away! The mix of up tempo songs and slow haunting mellow love songs is tremendous! Perfect examples of the upbeat songs would be such songs as Androgyny, Cherry Lips, Silence is Golden (not a cover of the 1960's classic), Shut Your Mouth and Till the day I die which are all brilliant. However, where I feel Garbage shine their brightest on this album is there soft, melodic songs. My favourite being Drive you Home mainly due to the fact that the lyrics are excellent and the song is put together almost perfectly. Other brilliant songs include Cup of Coffee, Parade, Can't Cry these tears, So like a Rose. As you can see most of the songs from the album have been named in this review at some point which just goes to show shows what a absolutely fabulous album this is! Shirley Mansons vocals are impossible to fault so if you are a fan of Garbage and haven't already then buy this album, if u r a new comer like me to the music of Garbage this is as good a place as any to start!!!
on 20 March 2015
A depature from the first two albums, Beautiful Garbage still delivers the goods. I would call this an experimental Pop album to be more precise. As usual, an album by Garbage always stands out from the current music scene in which it was released. Released in Autumn 2001, when Nu-Metal/Rap collaberations and R & B seem to dominate the charts, Beautiful Garbage was a breath of fresh air! However, I am glad that Shirley Manson grew her hair back in the end as she looks a lot fitter!