Garbage: Not Your Kind of People
Not Your Kind of People is Garbage’s first album in seven years, and if nothing else, shows that the group hasn’t lost anything during its hiatus.
This is Garbage being Garbage, and it’s at least as good as anything the band’s put out since the early 00’s. Fans should already know what to expect; it’s front-loaded with some shimmering sucker punches like the soaring “Big Bright World” and “Felt,” while “Blood For Poppies” is anchored by a nice and moody wordless vocal hook.
There are a few little surprises too – “Control” is sure to further comparisons to Curve, but in a good way, and two songs in a row in the album’s latter half feature Shirley Manson’s vocals pitch-shifted into a low, alien register (think The Knife’s last album). Her vocals are seemingly auto-tuned throughout, often to provide a girlish squeak (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, since recent live performances demonstrate Manson’s voice is still holding up nicely).
Manson’s lyrics are another story; they’ve always had a tendency to be a bit sophomoric, and the title track, though catchy, shows that’s still the case. “We are not your kind of people/You seem kind of phony/Everything’s a lie” is the type of manifesto a dejected high schooler might rally behind, but I’d have expected a little less teen angst coming from a 45-year-old woman. The title of “I Hate Love” similarly says it all, and the less said about the bonus tracks found on the deluxe edition, the better. (One song name-drops the Terminator in its chorus [Manson was an actress on the TV spin-off], and “What Girls Are Made Of” simply extols the virtues of being a girl, periods and all.)
In the age of endless cash-grab reunions, it’s at least a little refreshing to see Garbage pick up and carry on like they never left. Consistency means a lot, but a little progression would be nice, too.