Beautiful Garbage--5 Paragraph Essay

The only thing better than having Butch Vig help produce your band's album would be to have Butch Vig IN YOUR BAND. Such is the lucky fate of Garbage. Listening to the first 2 Garbage albums shows studio quality that rivals the achievements of 70's Boston or early 80's Asia or Rush. This production quality does continue on the release of Beautiful Garbage, which is fantastic all by itself. However, the newest release has a slightly different overall sound.

Compared to the first 2 "straight-ahead" Garbage albums, Beautiful shows more "experimentation"; a person who loves the newest Garbage the most would say that this album shows more "range". The first single released is "Androgyny" which is very good. However, some of the songs feel a bit hollow to me. And I really don't want to pick apart each song on the new album, although I may have to, considering how the whole world is drooling praise all over it. Perhaps that will be my next review...

The first 2 albums spoiled one casual listener. This is only my opinion, but I don't hear a band who is hungry for acceptance anymore. What I hear is an established band, putting out their next album and saying 'here it is'. Let me go on the record saying that this new album is still very good--and better than most of the poser, white boy-hip hop flooding the airwaves currently. I was just hoping for more of the same old Garbage. You know, 'if it ain't broke--don't fix it'.

I like the sound of a rocking jam band; and that's what Garbage is on every song of the first 2 albums. In fact, it is those first 2 albums that make Garbage destined to succeed. If you give me the choice, I don't need to hear extra synthesizers, or a song with multiple profanities, or even a quality stab at a girl-band sound. Inherently, I already know that Garbage can do these things and more.

So let's finish this off: Even if the dripping praisers can't hear it, this album is less like the third installment of a rock band--and more like qualified soundroom tinkerings. That is all there is to it. It's still good; I will listen to it many times, too. And I will not call it a disappointment. It is merely not the same, and therefore a little less than the first 2. I give it a B-

Beautiful Garbage: Song by Song

#1 Shut Your Mouth- It sounds great, just like every Garbage album's first song does. But there's a good reason why THIS first Garbage song won't be a radio hit (unlike the other 2); this song uses the word "shit" many times. Other than the multiple profanities, this is a decent music song.

#2 Androgyny-Here's where it gets weird; this doesn't sound like regular Garbage. This sounds like Garbage tryng a tricky pop song, with a synthesizer, and a little too much treble in the guitar. Apparently this is what they were aiming for, and it's not bad. But it isn't great, and it will never be a high charting single. As of 12-13-01 (today), you hardly even hear it on the radio anymore, and there's been no second single released yet..

#3 Can't Cry These Tears-This sounds forced; as if they are adhering to a strict formula--like it could have been an old ELO song (especially the bridge). It's not bad, but it doesn't even sound like a Garbage song.

#4 Til the Day I Die-Finally! Here is a Garbage song that could have been on any Garbage album. It ain't broke; don't fix it. Yay.

#5 Cup of Coffee-What an idea! Powerful lyrics drive a very simple song. Garbage pulls off this "pissed off break up song" easily, and few bands could do it this well. For a slow song, this is really good.

#6 Silence is Golden-What an intro! More guitar mastery, and it's another song that could be on any Garbage album. The lyrics are weak, but the music is so good that it doesn't matter.

#7 Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)-Here's the quality stab at a girl band sound. It's not bad; it's just trash instead of Garbage. The music behind the silly sounding vocals is okay.

#8 Breaking Up the Girl-Yes! More music that's good enough for any Garbage album. Why couldn't this be a single? Even average Garbage, like this song, is an absolute pleasure to listen to.

#9 Drive You Home-I'm not a fan of slow shit; bite me. For fans of slow shit with weak lyrics, this song must be a masterpiece. For me, it's the weak song in between 2 good ones. At best, this is just album filler.

#10 Parade-Another good average Garbage song. It's fast, it's overproduced, and it's catchy. Were you expecting more?

#11 Nobody Loves You-Did you notice that this one is over 5 minutes long? Credit where credit is due; this is slow/weak combined with slow/loud, and it's actually listenable. And they build up the ending very well. Overall, it's a bit weak. This song is a decent mission statement for the whole album.

#12 Untouchable-This is obviously the same synthesizer used in the first 2 songs. Maybe this is the one that's meant to be dance music; perhaps it will have an extended dance version. Forced, different, whatever; it doesn't sound like Garbage to me. Like Cherry Lips, I just didn't need to know that Garbage could do this; I already knew they could.

#13 So like a Rose-Over 6 minutes of slowness. But if you're going to do it slow, let Shirley sing it like she does here; naturally. Mazzy Star will be asking for royalties on this one, but that's for the lawyers. If you're going to listen to slow shit, listen to this one--instead of Drive You Home.

Okay, so there's 4 songs here that don't even sound like Garbage; 2, 3, 7, and 12. From the slightly better, and perhaps even acceptable realm, there are; 5, 9, 11, and 13. But as far as Garbage-sounding songs of 1st or 2nd album quality, all we have are:

1, 4, 6, 8, and 10.

That's it folks; 5 out of 13 compare with what we already knew. It is my job to be critical and point out these things. And this is the nice review, okay? Static Girl is going to rip this thing a new hole, and say stuff like 'this sucks', and 'I hate it', and 'I wish they were never born'. At least I like 5 of the damn songs. Play at your own risk, baby.

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