Almo Sounds/Interscope Records (0694931152)
Release Date: October 2, 2001

beautifulgarbage, the third album by the band Garbage, is their most sonically diverse yet. The album incorporates influences from 1950's doo wop ("Can't Cry These Tears"), to music from the late 1970's into the 1980's ("Til The Day I Die," "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)"), to laid-back ballads ("Cup Of Coffee," "Driving You Home"), to what you could classify as "typical Garbage" ("Shut Your Mouth," "Silence Is Golden"). Even with what appears to be an eclectic mix of influences and sounds, the songs are arranged and mixed in such a way that they flow well and fit together on the same album.

"Shut Your Mouth," while it sonically sounds like what you'd expect from Garbage, it contains more swearing than you would expect from them. "Androgyny," the lead-off single from beautifulgarbage, takes the typical sound of the band and makes it more "pop-friendly." "Canít Cry These Tears" sounds like a 1950's doo wop song, but with a modern sound and production quality. "Til The Day I Die" incorporates "record scratching" sounds, and lead singer Shirley Manson utilizes the lower registers of her voice more than usual on this song. "Cup Of Coffee" is a laid-back ballad where the keyboards and strings are much more prominent than the drums and guitars you would normally associate with the band. "Silence Is Golden" sounds more like a "typical Garbage" song, but the guitar part reminds me too much of Aerosmithís "Cryin'." "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)" is an upbeat, danceable song that processes Shirley's voice to sound higher than it normally would. "Breaking Up The Girl" makes me think of the 1960's, both sonically and in Shirley's vocal delivery. "Drive You Home" is a laid-back ballad than focuses a lot on an acoustic guitar sound. "Parade" picks the tempo back up, and Shirley's vocal delivery makes me think of the 1960's, while sonically the song sounds influenced from the 1980's. "Nobody Loves You" is a laid-back ballad, and stylistically reminds me of "Milk" from the bandís self-titled debut album (and of all the songs on beautifulgarbage, I feel "Nobody Loves You" is the weakest and should have been left off the album). The strings and percussion in "Untouchable" make me think they had a Latin influence, while the vocal delivery sounds influenced by modern urban music. "So Like A Rose," another laid-back ballad, is the longest song on the album; it is also on the boring side (but it makes a good closing song for the album).

The CD is enhanced with the "beautifulgarbage mixer," which has three selections: Offline Sound Toy, On-line Multi-Player Sequencer, and On-Line Single-Player Sequencer. The Offline Sound Toy includes instrumental pieces of "Androgyny" (14 in all) to choose from. Personally, I thought this was very limited in choices, the interface is cumbersome, and there would be a pause between selections; this just was not very exciting. The On-line Single-Player Sequencer was a bit better. You could choose from several songs, and could also choose which pieces you wanted to use for which band member. While this was better, it was still cumbersome. I didnít get the chance to try out the On-line Multi-Player Sequencer. Personally, I think the enhanced portion could have been left off the CD without hurting anything.

Overall, beautifulgarbage is a strong album, but I feel that the song "Nobody Loves You" breaks up the flow of the album right near the end, and should have been left off. I would recommend this album to a Garbage collector, and would also encourage people not familiar with the band to give this a listen.

(reviewed by Lesley Muir on November 18, 2002)

Almo Sounds/Interscope Records (0694931152)
  • Shut Your Mouth
  • Androgyny
  • Can't Cry These Tears
  • Til The Day I Die
  • Cup Of Coffee
  • Silence Is Golden
  • Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
  • Breaking Up The Girl
  • Drive You Home
  • Parade
  • Nobody Loves You
  • Untouchable
  • So Like A Rose

This is an enhanced CD, which includes the "beautifulgarbage mixer"

All songs on this disc written by Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig

All songs on this disc produced by Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig
Review © 2002 Lesley Muir Aeschliman
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