Conditions were perfect to get into the new Garbage album.
 We had plenty of time, plenty of visuals, an elevated sense of party and no distractions.
 My mind was totally empty and was waiting to be filled with something.

 This is the best CD I've heard since there have been CDs.
 The last time I heard a collection of songs was this good it was early 1987 when U2's album
 The Joshua Tree was kicking out one great song after another.

 The most striking thing about this Garbage CD is by the time a song is finished playing for the
 first time it's already stuck in your head. At the bottom of this page are a handful of reviews
 and almost every writer mentions how quickly the songs work their way into your memory.
 You find yourself trying to concentrate and that music keeps playing in your mind.
 It's a pop album with pop songs on it, but the songs don't have half-life's like pop songs.
 Hell, the first garbage album is six years old and it still delivers.

 The songs on this album are so fresh and new and different.
 They are the opposite of the stale, old, repetitive crap that most groups give us.

 Edna Gunderson for USA Today said,
"The punchier cuts reaffirm Shirley Manson's status as rock's smartest, sexiest tough girl."
 Shirley is sexy with her brain first.
 And if you like the way she looks, that's just icing on the Devil's food cake.

 Isn't that refreshing in today's teen-virgin-whore record market?
 Is anyone else tired of hearing 16-year olds sing of lost love and the ways of the world?

 Some readers have been nice enough to host some clips from the CD.
 These aren't the complete songs, I wouldn't do that to the band.
 These are just the hooks - the parts that pull you in - like a drug..

 The first song that stuck for me was Cherry Lips (Go, Baby, Go Go).
 It starts with a funky bass and Shirley doing an incredibly sexy voice that sounds like
 Betty Boop coming thru a Victrola. It's builds and builds and then BAM - the whole band comes in.
 Warning - If you click on a few of these clips - you'll be hooked.
  Thanks to Genslab for the assist.

 Just when I thought Cherry Lips was the best song on the album, Androgeny, their first single,
 worked it's was past Cherry Lips to be the new, best song on the album.
 This is also a good example of why I now think Garbage is the best band working.

 This isn't Shirley and three studio dudes - this is a band.
 Like all great bands, Shirley is using her voice like an instrument.
 Have you ever heard a vocal sound like that?
 Check out the backwards music that they substituted for drums.
 How far this is from the three-chord, 4/4 banality other groups offer.

 The opening of this song is so far off the beaten path.
 It's not even rock n' roll, it's a collections of sounds that make a song
 when combined with Shirley's come-from-left-field vocal.
   When you get there, click on  02androg - Thanks to Marty for hosting.

 This next song, Can't Cry These Tears, is a flashback.
 One reviewer called it, "The best song the Shirelles never did."
 It's the best girl-group song I've ever heard, and I'm so old I remember girl groups.

             Can't find it in the bible
             Can't find it on TV
             Can't find it in diamonds
             There's something inside me that just won't allow me to
             Find it in music
             Can't find it in my soul
             Can't find it in chocolate
             Oh babe I can't hide it
             I can't even find it in you
  Thanks to Marc for the help.

 Can't Cry These Tears is the third song that became the "best song on the CD" in just a few days.
 It's also cool that from the title and the lyrics, you might think this is one of those
 "I love him, I love him, I love him and where he goes I'll follow" girl songs,
 but she's deep-sixing the rat and getting on with her life.
 He can't deliver so she's going to find someone who can,
 kinda like what we'd like to do with President Weak & Stupid.

 Tell me, are any other groups doing anything this good?
 Garbage aren't followers - they are leaders - door openers.

 The next song, Shut Your Mouth, is a tour de force
 This is Shirley out-streeting the hip hop gals.
 This is what Eve or Lil Kim would sound like if they had more talent.

 Remember, Pink Floyd's "Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?"
 This is Shirley rebuffing the record company - or maybe show business in general.

             I hear you say it, play it smart girl
             Win the game love, give 'em what they want
             What they want to see and you could be a big star
             You could go far, make a landmark
             What have you been reading you smart girl?
             Win the game love, give 'em what they want
             What they want to see and you could be a big star
             You could go far, make a landmark, make a shit load, a shit load.
   Marty came thru again.  Click on  01shut.

 ...and just when you think you're hip-hopping, The Borg assimilate the Chili Peppers
 in a series of power chord riffs that remind you this is a different kind of album.
 Also, check when she says the words, "Try not to panic."
 She's behind the beat and I can't figure out how she does that.
 She holds back the "not" and the "pan-ic" for a half beat like Bun E. Carlos does on Surrender.

 Even if I had a musical education I couldn't catagorize this stuff.
 This is like a normal group taking their three best albums and putting them on the stove to simmer.
 After a while, what's left is so concentrated, so hot and so potent that other groups can't keep up.

 During this trip, we'd listen to this new Garbage CD and then pop in another new CD and we'd wonder why
 they didn't try harder to deliver, why their music was so regular, so assembly-line, so normal.

 The next song, Til the Day I Die, I was determined not to like, but it got to me.
 This sounds like Chrissie Hynde in a bad mood doing Elvis meeting Tone Loc.
 Think I'm kidding? Check this out:
   Thanks to Marty for fielding my fumble.

 For the fifth time, I thought I'd found the best song on the CD.
 Besides having pop-like hooks, the band really delivers.
 They straddle the fence between pop and rock real well.
 Some songs have the innocence of the early Beatles, but it's today's sound.
 Even after 60 listens, the songs keep getting better.

 After three weeks of playing this CD over and over, this is the big song on the CD.
 This is their version of somebody getting suddenly dumped - hard.
 I've never had my heart pulled from my chest and heel-stomped.
 After hearing Shirley tell what it feels like, it's something I hope to avoid.
 I've never heard such honest lyrics in my life. ...and this is a big-time haunt song, like Milk.
 I think the band calls it a "fog" song.

 For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm hearing Adult Contemporary music, which is not meant
 as a slur towards the band. What that means is the lyrics on this song are so adult.

              I smoke your brand of cigarettes and pray that you might give me a call
             I lie around in bed all day just staring at the walls
             Hanging round bars at night wishing I had never been born
             And give myself to anyone who wants to take me home

             So no of course we can't be friends
             Not while I still feel like this
             I guess I always knew the score
             This is where our story ends

             You left behind some clothes
             My belly summersaults when I pick them off the floor
             My friends all say they're worried
             I'm looking far too skinny
             I've stopped returning all their calls

             And no of course we can't be friends
             Not while I'm still so obsessed
             I want to ask where I went wrong
             But don't say anything at all

 Untouchable is the best pop song I've ever heard.
 This one will grab you the quickest and the hardest,
 like formaldehyde and ammonia in tobacco - instant hookery.
 (Sorry, Shirley)

 Like the potato chip - I'll bet you can't listen to this clip just one time.
 (If you can only listen to one clip - this is the one.)

 It's tied for best song on the CD with 6 others,
 but it's probably the fastest-grabber. Once you hear this,
 you'll want to hear the others, too.

 Silence is Golden is another one I was sure I wouldn't like,
 but like Silvio doing Pacino - "It pulled me back in."

 Most every song on the CD, (or for that matter in Garbage history) is a relationship song.
 Silence is Golden is darker, sicker than that and you can feel it in the performance.
 Instead of getting stronger, you feel the subject losing the fight, running out of steam.
 They're doing this song live, which is kind of a surprise.

 Breaking up the girl would be the best song on a lot of other albums.
 Here, it's just another contender for best song on the CD.
 Matter of fact, five of the last six songs on the album are sleepers.

 The first six are instant-grabbers, and once you get fully into them, (plus Untouchable)
 you still have five more songs to explore, like unexplored passages in a haunted house.

 I imagine by now I've heard the entire CD thru about 60-70 times.
 I've ever heard any album 60 times in the first three weeks.
 Since it's less than a month old, it's impossible to rank it with the all-time greats
 but we tried something new with this CD and the experiment was a great success.

 We dabbled in mind control. We played this CD again and again while experiencing
 this mind-emptying isolation while under the influence of Humboldt county's finest.
 Now, when we see the trees, we hear the songs on the CD, and when we hear
 the songs we see the trees and get that recurring rush that feels great.

 Remind me next October to revisit this subject to see where this album fits it with the giants.

 Do you need to love this CD?
 No, but if you give it a listen I think you'll be trapped by it.
 Sure, I wanted to really like the CD, but I really want to like every damn CD that I shell out money for.

 ...and since there is no God, this album will probably break up on the rocks while much lesser "music"
 by Britney, Justin, Nelly, Staind and J-Lo will probably go thirty-times platinum.

 I think they should be rewarded for having the talent and the courage to make a record
 that isn't safely on the approved corporate list of simple, bland and insulting music.

A snifter of Chinaco for beautifulgarbage


...and Shirley - you're the best.


"Like its title, this latest CD from one of rock's most consistently compelling groups is a study in contrasts
and seeming contradictions. On its purest and most sophisticated pop album to date, Garbage juggles its
hallmark cool irony and postmodern sonic dazzle with a new emphasis on melodic and emotional directness.
The chiming Can't Cry These Tears revisits early-'60s girl-group stylings with a wink and a sigh, while
Androgyny, Till the Day I Die and Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) affectionately embrace and send up
bubblegum-pop clichés. The punchier cuts reaffirm singer Shirley Manson's status as rock's smartest,
sexiest tough girl. But on eerie ballads such as Drive You Home and So Like a Rose, her vocals reveal a
new vulnerability and prettiness. Who knew Garbage could be this sweet? ***1/2."

"Those approaching Beautifulgarbage expecting more of the same are in for a wonderful surprise.
Beautifulgarbage finds diva supreme Shirley Manson eschewing electronica for more straight-up rock'n'pop,
with a '60s girl-group/ Phil Spector bent. In fact, "Can't Cry These Tears Anymore" is  the best song the
Shangri-La's never recorded. Garbage's first single is the deliciously sexy "Androgyny."  Modern tales for
modern times, sung by the vocally versatile Manson, make for one of the year's best."

"Garbage could now take over the world. They are, after years of self-doubt and self-blame,
finally and utterly beautiful. This is the most perfect piece of rubbish you've ever heard."

"Since their inception in 1995 Garbage have doggedly pursued their vision of knowing, sensual pop-rock
perfection. With beautifulgarbage, their third album, they’ve come nearer to realising it than ever before.
Sharp seductive music from a band at their peak."

"This new range of emotions, styles and sonic textures makes beautifulgarbage the band’s best album yet."

"Like its predecessors, the more often you listen to it, the more beautifulgarbage grows on you."

"beautifulgarbage is a band with their vision sharpened. Chrome surfaces gleam throughout and
Shirley’s voice is still a damn fine pop vehichle. Garbage just took a leap of faith. And it paid off."

"The first ten tracks could all be singles. beautifulgarbage may be their most commercial release on the surface,
but the darkness, sexuality and sensitivity of it layers soon materialise.  Fiendish stuff. Garbage 3.0 rocks!"

"Garbage are smart, nihilistic and sexually powerful."

"By combining electronic beats and crunching guitars, Garbage helped redefine pop music in the nineties.
Beautifulgarbage is a departure on two fronts. It is also an important step musically with the group broadening
their canvas whilst Manson expands her emotional range and lowers her guard on some of the most personal lyrics
she has yet written. Her singing, once a languid purr, is now powerful, confident and versatile."

"Spiky, smart Shirley Manson and her eerie doomy rock lads make a welcome return,
Piriouetting between pop and funk, this is a bewtiching record."

"Add layers of loops and beats and perfectly crunchy guitars that can sometimes feel
a little heartless to these pop songs that sound too damned clever to be true."

"beautifulgarbage is a more evolved, more human record than either of its predecessors,
largely due to three prime actors: an audaciously glasnostic musical policy, Shirley’s development
as a vocalist, and some of her most direct and heartfelt lyrics to date."

"Not only has Shirley manson taken control of Garbage on her own terms – stamping her many moods
on the music, rather than just playing the pretty singer – but she has laid herself bare in the lyrics."

"beautifulgarbage is a swirling mix of influences. Shirley Manson takes no prisoners.
 She is provocative and fiercely opinionated."

"This sounds great. Catchy, bright and Shirley Manson’s lyrics are more personal than ever."

"Opening track 'Shut Your Mouth’ reminds us that the Scottish seductress still has claws."

"A lot of effort has gone make beautifulgarbage sound easy. And this is the attractive
dissonance of Garbage: breezy, sunny melodies attached to the songs."

"From the sly riff of lead single 'Androgyny' to the mockingly nihilistic 'Can’t Cry These Tears' beautifulgarbage
displays the sort of loose-limbed free thinking more typical of a band delivering their debut than the result of
six years of success. It constitutes the band’s most extreme work and is a radical departure. Has anything more
funky than the bubblegum-flavoured (with strychnine) Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go) been written all year?

"Garbage don’t disappoint, they get straight to the point. The point in this case being strong melody.  Most of the
album sounds like singles and the more you listen the more the inventive and insidious tunes grab you by the throat."

"Outstanding, sensual and full of humour... proof that rock'n'roll still is alive. This is pure passion!

"Beatifulgarbage is a magic and dynamic mix of Shirley Manson sensual voice, her text universe and
 a production that constantly suprises you."

"With beautifulgarbage shirley manson & co have given blood and vitality to their well known rock-pop koncept....
 The singing is always fantastic.  Shirley Manson puts fire into the songs!"

"beatifulgarbage is unfortunately not a proof of Garbage being the leading pop act of the world but Garbage
have the greatest personality and best singing front figure in musicworld and some good songs- that is not bad!"

"This is a great record. In short: I adore it!  Beautifulgarbage is an opus where nothing is superfluous, from the
impact of the opening with "Shut Your Mouth" to the ethereal closure of "So Like A Rose."  In between there are
gems such as the first single "Androgyny" and "Can't Cry These Tears," the slow and melancholy "Cup of Coffee,"
the scratch of "Till the Day I Die" and "Cherry Lips" (which would make Kylie Minogue whiten with envy)....
All this and more in a record that, after some intial doubts, won't stop spinning in my stereo.
This is luxiourous garbage!!"

"13 songs full of substance: modern songs suspended between seduction and decadence,
pop rock and electronic sounds that melt into vital and energetic music....and most of all an unforgettable
voice that penetrates in your memory and injects you with pure energy."

"Beautifulgarbage is an elaborate album with perfectly articulated rhythmic and melodic moments and with
lyrics that bring forth the naked sentiments of the band's album that is raw and
elegant at the same time: "beautiful garbage" exactly."

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