After a long brake of seven years, the mouthy Shirley Manson is back with a new album meant to pick up where label conflicts left the band and their fans. This time is on their own terms and their own label and Garbage seems to have left behind the hiatus that was on the verge of erasing the quartet from the music industry.
The new album, Not Your Kind Of People, stands somewhere between the old Garbage and the new Garbage as the main evidence that true talent never dies, on the contrary, it reinvents itself, just as the Phoenix bird resurrects from its own ash. This time, the album includes fewer electronics, more fuzzy guitars and a sound worthy of the Gaga generation. However, it’s hard to say now if Garbage’s new album will fit perfectly in the music ring that’s now filled with younger artists Manson herself inspired. Yet, their stylish and spiky sound seems to last forever and the tracks are a fresh combination of grunge, new wave and the electro-pop of the previous decade.
The first track, “Automatic System Habit”, opens the door for other nightclub remixes. With a synthesized voice, the read headed Manson discards the idea of being “your dirty little secret” right before continuing with the same toe-tapping cadence the seventh track, “I Hate Love,” a song filled with pain ad darkness. “Not for you, not for me, not for your other lover/ I won’t be your dirty little secret,” Manson sings like a serpent spitting venom.
“Felt” reveals the group’s soft side, though Manson still sounds like her and her voice has nothing sweet in it, but sinister. “They’re only feelings, baby,” she sings with a gentleness that hides anger, infatuation and a stoned heart.
“Battle In Me” sounds very British, with stop-start riffs and electronic touches, revealing a Manson in conflict with the past, dark, depressive and burning for revenge. She sings, “Let’s take a torch to the past and the future.”
“Blood for Puppies” is the album’s first single and the one that detaches itself from the rest of the tracks by being 100 percent new from every point of view. The band wanted to prove they are not afraid of taking risks and they did it. They wanted to turn their pain to pride and they did it. They wanted to include no more than two outsider anthems – in the title track, which The
Guardian so beautifully describes as being “a beautiful, otherworldly cross between a John Barry Bond theme and a David Bowie outsider anthem” and the final track “Beloved Freak” - and they did it. After all, they answer to no one.
The whole album reflects Garbage’s refusal to change according to the times we’re living. Not Your Kind Of People seems like a return to form, like a futile effort to fit in a world that is totally different than the mid-to-late 90s. As NY Daily News wrote about it, Manson, drummer Butch Vig, guitarist Steve Marker and bassist Duke Erikson “uphold their usual mission: to prove the timeless power of bile.”
Released May 14, 2012
Recorded 2010-2012 Red Razor Sounds; King Size North Studios, California, United States
Genre Alternative rock, electronica
Length 42:50 (Standard), 1:00:28 (Deluxe)
Producer Garbage, Mixed by Butch Vig & Billy Bush