Label : Stunvolume
Review by Matteo Bussotti
90’s Rock iconic band, Garbage, is finally back on the scene with their latest album: “Not Your Kind of People”. For those of you who don’t know Garbage, let me just say they feature Butch Vig (You know Nirvana‘s “Nevermind” and Foo Fighters‘ latest album, “Wasting Light”? This produced these albums, along with many others) on drums, Shirley Manson (one of the most famous and talented female singers of the last two decades, at least), Steve Marker on guitar and Duke Erikson on bass. The made some pretty famous songs, like “Cherry Lips”, “Only Happy When It Rains” or “I Think I’m Paranoid”. Do you remember now? So, are you ready for the time warp?
The album opens with “Automatic Systematic Habit”, with a very strong electronic sound, supported by powerful drumming and a great, vibrating sound. Shirley‘s voice is back, and it hasn’t aged at all! “Big Bright World” welcomes us with Shirley‘s deep, warm voice, with a solid rhythm base in the background, which explodes, giving extra energy to the song. “Blood for Poppies” will immediately catch your attention with it strange rhythm. It’s almost like an “electro/funk” song, and it’s simply great. Its rhythm, Shirley‘s voice, the guitars, its crescendo…perfect. Even if you hate dancing, you’ll find yourself moving your body for no absolute reason, only to follow its rhythm! “Control” starts as a sad ballad, making you think it’ll bring down the general atmosphere…before a musical mess starts, giving the song a completely different pace, with also the help of an harmonica, giving to “Control” beautiful sonorities. Then there’s a central “bridge”, and the song explodes again, completely blowing your mind with Shirley‘s voice which sounds like a robot thanks an effect, giving the song a very special vibe.
“Not Your Kind of People” transports you in a country atmosphere, before Shirley‘s voice softens the atmosphere, aided by background vocals by her god-daughter, in a delicate, warm song, great as an atmosphere for all your relaxing moments. Felt settles its sound between “Not Your Kind of People” and the other more powerful songs. It’s not a bad song, absolutely, it’s great to listen to. Simply, it isn’t as catchy as the other ones, it’s like a moment of break in the album. “I Hate Love” is filled with subtle anger, passing through its rhythm and through Shirley‘s voice and lyrics. Starting from the title, you can almost feel the crescendo in your body, so don’t be amazed if you’ll get chills listening to this song! Special mention for the drum and synth rhythm, very well made and…well, perfect.
“Sugar” will bring you into a lounge atmosphere. Of course, the focus is always on Shirley‘s voice, but can we complain about this? Her voice is simply beautiful, and it’s been Garbage‘s trademark since…well, since forever! My suggestion is to listen to this song with your headphones on, in total relax. You won’t absolutely regret. “Battle in Me” completely changes the game by giving us an extremely powerful rhythm. Defining Shirley‘s voice in this song it’s very difficult, it gave me the impression as if she was giving a political speech with a large crowd in front of her. Long story short: the most powerful song of this album. Period. Then comes “Man on a Wire”. Vig‘s drumming is precise, along with the guitar and the bass. Well, sincerely, I don’t have much to say about this song. Just…just listen to it. It’s one of those song which do not have nothing very peculiar, but can create a particular atmosphere, some very cool rhythms, and they’ll force you to dance. Really. Force you.
The last song “Beloved Freak”, is one of those masterpieces that can’t be simply described with words. Everything is so delicate, so perfect, you’ll just want to listen to this song over and over again. The piano part is of the most beautiful that I’ve heard recently. Shirley‘s voice is simply stunning (for me, this is the track with the best vocal part), and everything else just fits perfectly with the rest. The piano gives the notes and the general rhythm and atmosphere. The drum keeps the rhythm to a delicate level, while the guitar highlights, with the piano, all the right notes: of course, Garbage didn’t need a cascade of notes, they needed and used the right ones. Haven’t I praised enough this album? It’s one of the 2012’s album you will certainly remember. Garbage are back, and they succeeded in bringing our childhood (or youth, if you’re older than me) back, in an excellent way. Listen to this album, it’s such a great time you’ll never regret it.
Rating – 78/100
- Automatic Systematic Habit
- Big Bright World
- Blood for Poppies
- Not Your Kind of People
- I Hate Love
- Battle In Me
- Man on a Wire
- Beloved Freak
- Shirley Manson – Vocals
- Steve Marker – Guitar
- Duke Erikson – Bass
- Butch Vig – Drums
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