Not Your Kind of People is Garbageâ€™s first album in seven years, and if nothing else, shows that the group hasnâ€™t lost anything during its hiatus.
This is Garbage being Garbage, and itâ€™s at least as good as anything the bandâ€™s put out since the early 00â€™s. Fans should already know what to expect; itâ€™s front-loaded with some shimmering sucker punches like the soaring â€œBig Bright Worldâ€ and â€œFelt,â€ while â€œBlood For Poppiesâ€ is anchored by a nice and moody wordless vocal hook.
There are a few little surprises too – â€œControlâ€ is sure to further comparisons to Curve, but in a good way, and two songs in a row in the albumâ€™s latter half feature Shirley Mansonâ€™s vocals pitch-shifted into a low, alien register (think The Knifeâ€™s last album). Her vocals are seemingly auto-tuned throughout, often to provide a girlish squeak (Iâ€™ll give them the benefit of the doubt, since recent live performances demonstrate Mansonâ€™s voice is still holding up nicely).
Mansonâ€™s lyrics are another story; theyâ€™ve always had a tendency to be a bit sophomoric, and the title track, though catchy, shows thatâ€™s still the case. â€œWe are not your kind of people/You seem kind of phony/Everythingâ€™s a lieâ€ is the type of manifesto a dejected high schooler might rally behind, but Iâ€™d have expected a little less teen angst coming from a 45-year-old woman. The title of â€œI Hate Loveâ€ 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 â€œWhat Girls Are Made Ofâ€ simply extols the virtues of being a girl, periods and all.)
In the age of endless cash-grab reunions, itâ€™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.