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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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!
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on 24 November 2015
Excellent quality
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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.
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on 28 August 2005
I was very undecided about this album and the direction the band had taken with it at first and indeed, for a rather long time. However, I now appreciate it for what it is, which is a great pop record.
First off though, there are a couple of tracks that do nothing for me. Opener Shut Your Mouth sounds slightly forced and the lyrics are pretty weak.
Also, Untouchable is just terrible. The wah-wah effect used in the chorus just makes me cringe.
Apart from that, there are some excellent moments on here, such as the brilliant 'Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)', the funky 80's groove of 'Till The Day I Die' and the moving 'Drive You Home'.
'Can't Cry These Tears' is also a song of note. Shirley uses a falsetto vocal for the first time, and it sounds like it could've come out of a musical. Still, it's oddly compelling.
Ultimately though, it's Garbage's worst album to date. That may make it sound bad, but it's only because the other albums are so damn good.
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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....
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on 14 October 2001
From the opening track "shut your Mouth" this album bites, grabs you by the neck and says "I'm here listen to me!" What strikes me about this album is a group who know what they are doing, Shirley Manson's voice sounds as beautiful as ever and the production is excellent without feeling over produced. Their is no lack of expirementation on the album as well, it's not just a group wheeling out the same tunes again with differnt lyrics, Garabage are a group knowing what they are best at but willing to change the boundaries everytime they do it. This was never going to be an album where you say "is this really Garbage?" But this is still a very fine album that begs to be listened to again and again.
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on 7 October 2001
When I first got my hands on this LP I was a little disappointed, it didn't instantly grow on me like the first two did - but I thought OK, keep listening. By the time I had played it a couple of times I was hooked. This is very like Garbage and yet it's not, it's difficult to put your finger on it, it's like their music has grown. The weakest link on the LP is actually the current single 'Androgony'. Favourite tracks are the opening belter 'Shut Your Mouth', 'Cup of Coffee' - with it's heart pouring lyrics which everyone can relate to at some point - do I smell a potential single here? 'Parade', 'Breaking up the Girl'. There may be a heavy mix of influences on this record from Blondie, Chrissie Hynde and Phil Spector but this is definitely a Garbage record and it's just beautiful!
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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!
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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.
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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.
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