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CD Reviews:  Garbage: beautifulgarbage

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beautifulgarbage, the third album from Madison's finest, is equal parts of both words in its title, though perhaps beautifulgarbageoccasionalfiller would have been more appropriate. For every two killer tracks, and there are some killer tracks, there is one that never would have seen the light of day on either of the previous Garbage albums. While it may be better overall than most of the albums at the top of the charts, it must be viewed as a disappointment in comparison to their own catalog. The price to be paid for making two great records, I suppose. Still, Garbage fans should be pleased with the overall product. 

The album starts out very promising, with "Shut Your Mouth" picking up where "Push It" left off. Processed guitar riffs, mechanical beats, and lots and lots of sass from lead singer Shirley Manson ("Shut your mouth, if you can do it"). "Androgyny" owes a small debt to Madonna's "Don't Tell Me," with its slinky beats and acoustic guitar pluckings. "Can't Cry These Tears" is a tribute to 1960s girl groups, of all things, and "Nobody Loves You" shares more than its title with Portishead. This is one of the best tracks on the album, with a classic Bond theme-style crescendo at the end. Elements of Mazzy Star are also evident in the album's closer, "So Like a Rose."

If there is a disconcerting trend with Garbage albums, it's the band's tendency to rewrite its own songs, and beautifulgarbage has a couple of them. Some work, like the "When I Grow Up" sequel "Parade." Others, however, don't, like "'Til The Day I Die," which sounds like "I Think I'm Paranoid" but isn't half as good. The most disturbing song may be "Untouchable," because its chorus sounds like the song Britney Spears sold to Pepsi. 

Garbage did some good, smart things with beautifulgarbage. By expanding their sound, they've opened the door for taking the band in virtually any direction from here. But here's hoping they make a better overall batch of tunes with fewer sound-alikes next time around.

~David Medsker : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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