I just love Garbage's Version 2.0. That CD rocks
with a great mix of techno and power chords. But, honestly,
the reason I really like that CD is because the lyrics, and
Shirley Manson's vocals, are girl power songs. Although Manson's
voice is certainly not masculine, it has a ferocity that appeals
to men and women alike. She artfully mixes feminine style and
vulnerability with masculine assertiveness and independence,
all this on top of the techno/power chord stylings of the band.
Version 2.0 is a CD that I could listen to at
the gym and work out my aggressions.
So, I was anxiously anticipating my next installment of girl
power music, the pseudo self-titled BeautifulGarbage.
Sadly, I better take up yoga because BeautifulGarbage,
the band's third album, takes a significantly different turn
for the soft. The samplings range from hip hop to 60's chime-y
Shangri-La with less power chord intervention -- nothing as
inspired as the Kate Bush sample on Version 2.0.
One song in particular, Can't Cry These Tears, could
have been a chiffonesque staple at my dad's prom. More disturbing,
the lyrics on this new release have changed from the anthems
of Version 2.0 to scary, pathetic laments. On
songs like Cup of Coffee, I have to wonder if Shirley
Manson was pining obsessively over someone at the time of this
The album isn't totally girl-psycho, though. At least a few
songs, such as the first single, Androgyny, and Breaking
Up the Girl include power chords and vocals like those of
Version 2.0. In fact, BeautifulGarbage
would probably not seem so mundane, and would garner a higher
sponge rating, if it weren't for the great work on that record.
If you buy BeautifulGarbage, though, I wouldn't
take it to the gym, even for low impact aerobics.