I’ve been a fan of Garbage since their self-titled debut album came out in 1995. Armed with a sound entirely unique unto themselves, they’ve been a band I’ve followed almost religiously with each new album announcement. And so it is, that after seven years, I was back to salivating with anticipation as their latest album, Not Your Kind Of People, inched ever closer to release. But now that I have it, was it worth the agonizing wait? Check out my thoughts below.
A cinematic flair beings the opening track “Automatic Systematic Habit”, hailing the return of Garbage. It’s a high-energy track that is undeniably infectious is the perfect beginning to the album, setting the perfect tone for what is to come.
The album continues with “Big Bright World”, a track that is still high-energy but has a happier overall tone. It sounds like something I’d hear on Version 2.0. Then we get to the first single, “Blood For Poppies”. I’ve already stated how much I love this song but it probably deserves to be mentioned again. This song gets my blood rushing and my heart racing; I honestly can’t get enough of it.
I could go on with a track-by-track review, but I’ll forgo that in order to talk about the production, which is fantastic. The songs are richly layered, almost confusingly so. There are so many things going on at nearly any given time that hearing everything the first few times through is a near impossibility. As per usual, many of the tones and sounds aren’t exactly musical but rather odd noises that just fit the atmosphere of the song.
Some interesting moments I found where the opening bass line to “Battle In Me”, which reminded me of Bon Jovi’s “Living On A Prayer”. Then there was “Sugar”, which had a distinctive trip-hop flavor that I relished.
Then there is the final track, “Beloved Freak”, which starts like a lullaby, transforming into a gentle, beautiful ballad. There is something soothing about hearing Manson’s velvety voice croon gently over and over, “You’re not alone.” While it doesn’t end the album with bombastic fireworks, there is such a sweet, hopeful note that I can’t help feel that there was no better coda.
The Final Word: I’ve been brought back to the glitz and glamour of 90’s alt-rock and I’m loving every second of it. Equal parts music and noise, Not Your Kind Of People is everything I could’ve wanted from a new Garbage album and more.
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