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Beautiful Garbage


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Album Review

The great thing about Garbage — the thing that nobody wants to mention — is that they are veterans, from frontwoman Shirley Manson to the three studio pros who play the instruments. They slogged through the trenches of alt-rock in the '80s, whether it was in the U.S. or the U.K., and they came together at the precise moment in the '90s when they could fashion modern-sounding music with a keen eye to the present and modern. They consciously picked up elements from shoegazing, trip-hop, and indie rock — anything sonically interesting in the underground, crafting them together with skill and a keen commercial eye. On their third record, Beautiful Garbage, that's more evident than ever, from how they approximate contemporary R&B with the sultry "Androgyny," or the Minneapolis new wave bubblegum funk of "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)," or the bluesy PJ Harvey strut of "Silence Is Golden." It's all the more evident because this has a shiny, sugary, unabashedly pop coating, an element that Garbage clearly revel in, as well as should the listener. This is every bit as enticingly postmodern as their other albums, and it sounds distinctly Garbage — there are elements of My Bloody Valentine crashing up against Tricky, post-Madchester dance, jangle pop, goth stance, and classic pop — but they seem less like magpies, more themselves, which means Beautiful Garbage is a more consistent record. It's unlikely to storm the charts like their first two records, especially since there aren't standout singles like on the earlier albums, but overall the record works better, perhaps their best album.

Customer Reviews

Beautifully done...

I know alot of people like to slam Beautifulgarbage, but there's alot on this record that demonstrates the band's brave (and lonely) evolution. Songs like Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) and Parade are effective pop songs that feel good and don't make you feel dirty (Ashlee Simpson...) Then there's the haunting ballad Cup of Coffee which is both powerfully written and artfully accompanied (so much moreso than other Garbage ballads like Bleed Like Me and Medication). Though it doesn't resonate as effectively as their more successful albums, Beautifulgarbage is still worth a listen for those with an open mind.


I like this album, sort of. It's not bad, but it is the least great of Garbage's records. Some songs rock and get your attention, but alot are boring (like So Like a Rose and Drive You Home) and some songs are way too sex-driven. I miss the old days when Garbage sang about being strong and beating up your pain. I'd like to see more songs like "Only Happy..." and "Special" rather than "Cherry Lips". Overall, I liked some tracks and I can bare the rest, but maybe Garbage sould look back to what made them successful in the 90's.

It took a Cup of Coffee to <3 you Shirls!

This is Garbage's "Experimental Album". BG lacked commercial success, but who really cares about that anyway. The best thing about this album is the song "Cup of Coffee" which is one of the band's greatest non-single tracks! The lyrics are strong, emotional, obsessive and great. "Cup of Coffee" is a carbon copy of my last relationship (which took place in Tokyo) and I would recommend the track to everyone! If I were to say this is Garbage's "best" CD then I would be lying, but it's better then what most artists put out and sell to you in today's market. Key Tracks: Cup of Coffee *Strongly Recommended* Androgyny Breaking Up The Girl Can't Cry These Tears


Formed: 1993 in Madison, WI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Garbage built on the sonic landscapes of My Bloody Valentine, Curve, and Sonic Youth, adding a distinct sense of accessible pop songcraft. The band was the brainchild of producers Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker, who initially held an informal jam session in Marker's basement, but they eventually...
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