So, after a seven year “hiatus”, Garbage, one of my most favourite bands of all time, have finally released a new album. I didn’t even hear about it until two weeks before it was released, and wasn’t really expecting myself to get excited, but as the release day grew closer, I just got more thrilled and more eager. I think one of the reasons I got so excited was that I have a 5-disc changer stereo in my room, and with this album I’d be able to fill it solely with Garbage. So, in the end, I went out last Friday, release day for Australia before anywhere else, and bought the deluxe edition. I bought the deluxe for two reasons, 1- It has four extra songs, and 2- It’s a nice bright red colour. Below, I have reviewed the whole of “Not Your Kind Of People”, track-by-track in addition to as a whole.
So, here’s how it works: I’ve written what previous song/s each track reminds me of and ranked it on this album, as well as a short comment about that particular track. Then at the bottom I’ve got my thoughts about “Not Your Kind Of People” as a whole…
- Automatic Systematic HabitReminds me of: most of the tracks on “Bleed Like Me”, particularly Boys Wanna Fight (Bleed Like Me) + Temptation Waits (Version 2.0)
Rank on this album: 3
Comments: Most of the opening tracks on Garbage’s albums are strong grungy songs that really let you know who you’re listening to. This is no different. It is a welcoming start that forecasts a classic album. It also clearly has some disco influences possibly borrowing from the fact that the remixes of “Bleed Like Me” did better than the originals.
- Big Bright WorldReminds me of: Run Baby Run (Bleed Like Me)
Rank on this album: 9
Comments: A surprisingly hopeful and cheerful track. Unlike some of the other songs, I loved this track the moment I heard it, even though it’s not my favourite now.
- Blood for Poppies Reminds me of: Shut Your Mouth (Beautiful Garbage)
Rank on this album: 11
Comments: The fast-speaking track where meaning is hidden in plain sight. It’s different from their other songs because it doesn’t tell a clear story and is more upbeat than usual.
- ControlReminds me of: Silence is Golden (Beautiful Garbage) + Medication (Version 2.0)
Rank on this album: 4
Comments: This track starts wistfully, but soon gets down to business. Towards the end it gets a bit weird, with a rather empty section where a verse feels like it should be and it finishes with a fairly choppy mix of sounds and effects, one of which makes Shirley seem like she went for a swim while she sang it. Despite all that, it’s one of my favourites on this album, and the one I found stuck in my head the most.
- Not Your Kind of PeopleReminds me of: Drive You Home (Beautiful Garbage)
Rank on this album: 10
Comments: Not the rockin’ song you’d expect from the title track of this album, but still a solid song.
- FeltReminds me of: So Like A Rose (Beautiful Garbage) just for the vocals + A Stroke Of Luck (Garbage)
Rank on this album: 15
Comments: One of those tracks I don’t like initially, but I’m sure will eventually grow on me.
- I Hate LoveReminds me of: Vow (Garbage) + When I Grow Up (Version 2.0), but much sweeter than either of them + elements from Dumb (Version 2.0)
Rank on this album: 6
Comments: Sounds like a disco remix straight out of the box, but it settles into sounding like a typical Garbage song. It has that characteristic driving guitar backing the crescendo of Manson’s voice as she reaches the chorus. And a few odd sounds with what sounds like someone on the end of a phone line to finish it.
- SugarReminds me of: Milk (Garbage) + Medication (Version 2.0) + Happy Home (Bleed Like Me)
Rank on this album: 5
Comments: Another track I instantly liked the moment I heard it. At first, it seemed like a more sugary version of Milk (pardon the pun), but it has a lot more body to get lost in than that gives it credit for.
- Battle In MeReminds me of: Push It (Version 2.0) + Sex Is Not The Enemy (Bleed Like Me)
Rank on this album: 7
Comments: The rebellion track, full of grating guitar and pounding drums. It gets you pumped and ready to go.
- Man on a WireReminds me of: Why Don’t You Come Over? (Bleed Like Me)
Rank on this album: 2
Comments: Probably the most fist pumping song on the album. It’s the perfect track to just dance and jump around madly to, with your eyes closed. It’s got that great power that Garbage always do so well.
- Beloved FreakReminds me of: It’s All Over But The Crying (Bleed Like Me)
Rank on this album: 8
Comments: A relaxing, reflective track that still somehow has an uplifting undertone. Simply beautiful.
Deluxe Edition Extra Tracks
- The OneReminds me of: Only Happy When It Rains (Garbage) + Push It (Version 2.0) together at double speed…
Rank on this album: 1
Comments: The most frantic, perfect song for rocking out. It has all the same sort of elements as Man On A Wire, but delivers them with even more vigour and power. They even manage to wedge a Terminator reference in (Shirley Manson acted in “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” during the hiatus) with the line “There must
be someone, A robot, A Terminator”.
- What Girls Are Made OfReminds me of: A Stroke Of Luck (Garbage) just a little bit. Really it’s totally new & different.
Rank on this album: 13
Comments: Every Garbage album seems to have just one track on it that has proper swearing. This is that track for this album. And it delivered about as smoothly as conceivably possible. The whole song is so laid back and doesn’t miss a beat, without pulling any punches.
- Bright TonightReminds me of: Big Bright World (Not Your Kind Of People), even though that’s sort of cheating… OK, maybe So Like A Rose (Beautiful Garbage)
Rank on this album: 14
Comments: This song sounds like a laid back summer relaxation track. It’s not what you’d expect from Garbage, but something about it still feels so much like them. It’s a perfect example of how they’re broadening their style on this album.
- Show MeReminds me of: As Heaven Is Wide (Garbage)
Rank on this album: 12
Comments: A prime example of what a Garbage song sounds like. It has all of the elements that make it theirs.
“Not Your Kind Of People” as an album
The whole of this album seems, to me, to be much more upbeat and cheery in tone than Garbage’s other albums. In a way, I don’t mind that but it just seems odd. At first, it put me a bit off kilter. I wasn’t expecting it and it didn’t feel right but after hearing the songs a few times, it grew on me. It still feels like Garbage, it’s still characteristically them. It’s just that they’re a bit more happy.
I’ve always liked how unique and inventive the turn of phrase used in Garbage’s songs usually is, but on this album some perfectly good chances for some interesting phrases seem to have gone to waste with some rather cliché ones instead. E.g. “It’s always darkest right before the dawn” in Control. Surely they could’ve come up with a much more inventive line to go there. All the same, it doesn’t matter too much and in the end, it’s about delivery and that is still as stunning as always.
Most of Garbage’s songs usually have two different styles or leitmotifs in them that are transitioned between or melded together to create a different feel. The majority of the songs on this album don’t seem to have that, leaving them feeling like they’re missing some depth. That’s not to say that they’re simple or plain. They just don’t do a musical Jekyll/Hyde act, which is one of the elements I always loved about Garbage’s music.
I’d like to also note that while I’ve ranked all the songs from No. 1 to 15, I actually like them all. Just because they’re lower down doesn’t mean I hate them, I just don’t like them as much. Your least favourite ice-cream flavour is still an acceptable favourite, it’s just that other things come before it.
After having listened to each track on “Not Your Kind Of People” so many times in the course of writing this review, I’ve finally started to feel and hear all the songs come into their own. They’re unique and different from what has come before, but not too much, and not too drastically that it’s a loss. No, there’s just enough change here to call it inventive… Well, maybe not inventive, but enjoyably new. It’s a new feel for Garbage, but what do you expect after seven years of waiting.
Have you listened to “Not Your Kind Of People” yet? What did you think? Did it live up to your expectations? Have I said anything you disagree with? Tell me & everyone else who passes through here what you think in the comment below, or however else you would like to share them anywhere on the internet, and send me a link and I’ll post it here. ⇊
Until Next Time,