Band Review: Garbage

I was first introduced to Garbage back in 1995 by my then-boyfriend (who is now my husband) when he shared the video for “Queer” with me. I also heard “Only Happy When It Rains,” but was ultimately sold on the band after hearing “Stupid Girl.” The band’s self-titled album is actually a rather solid piece of work, and my favorites from the album are: “Supervixen,” “Queer,” “Only Happy When it Rains,” “Not My Idea,” “Vow,” “Stupid Girl,” “Dog New Tricks,” and “Milk.”

In 1998, Garbage released their second album, Version 2.0. This album utilized the musical elements of the self-titled album, but pushed those elements up to “the next level.” Musically, Version 2.0 is a strong album, and I would be willing to even say that it’s stronger than the self-titled album. My favorite songs on Version 2.0 are: “I Think I’m Paranoid,” “When I Grow Up,” “Medication,” “Special,” “Push It,” and “You Look So Fine.” This was followed by the song, “The World Is Not Enough,” which was a theme song for the James Bond film of the same name. Sonically, this song was different for Garbage, but it’s a song I thoroughly enjoy. It was nice to hear the band do a song that would not have been expected of them at the time.

2001 saw the release of Garbage’s third album, beautifulgarbage. While there are some good songs on this album, I felt that overall, it didn’t come anywhere close to either the self-titled album or to Version 2.0. The songs that stood out to me were: “Shut Your Mouth,” “Androgyny,” “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!),” “Breaking Up The Girl,” and “Can’t Cry These Tears.” While I appreciate the chances the band took musically for beautifulgarbage, I’m not convinced that a lot of those chances really worked in the long run.

In 2005, Garbage released their fourth album, Bleed Like Me. While the previous three albums combined straight ahead rock and roll with electronics, this album really minimized the use of the electronics. With this album, the band definitely was going more for a straight rock sound. While there are some good songs on this album, I felt that it is overall the weakest of the band’s four albums. My favorite songs on this album are: “Why Do You Love Me,” “Bleed Like Me,” “Sex Is Not The Enemy,” and “It’s All Over But The Crying.”

When the band released their greatest hits album, Absolute Garbage, it provided the fans with a new song called “Tell Me Where It Hurts.” Sonically, it sounds like it could easily have been included on the beautifulgarbage album, and it’s a good addition to Garbage’s music catalog.

I have no idea where the band will go from here, but I hope they continue to put out the type of music I enjoy listening to.

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