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After seven years of absence the alternative rock band Garbage, composed of Shirley Manson (vocals, guitar), Duke Erikson (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Steve Marker (guitar, keyboards) and Butch Vig (drums, percussion), comes back with the new album ‘Not Your Kind Of People,’ to be released on May 14 worldwide.
According to singer Shirley Manson, during the years of absence there were several problems between the band and its record label; the situation led Garbage to the edge of breaking up. The band then decided to dissolve the relationship with the label, and to work on a new album independently. This allowed them to fully express their own musical vision and personality, without compromising for the industry. The band decided to stay true to itself, and we are very lucky they did.
Although not an “easy” album, ‘Not Your Kind Of People’ is overall excellent. It is straightforward and honest to the listener, and defines the band’s way of living music. In the album, Garbage members present themselves as outsiders, and they are quite proud of it. The track ‘Automatic Systematic Habit’ is the grand opening of the record. It is extremely catchy, energetic, angry and noisy. “Noisy” is a characteristic that pertains to the entire record. Raw rock sonorities merge with electronic sounds and pure noise, with traces of trip-hop scattered around the tracks.
Manson’s voice adapts perfectly to every different attitude explored in the eleven tracks, moving from sexy to sweet, always resulting hypnotic. As the past Garbage’s albums, this record captures your attention at the first listen, and grows afterwards. The confusion brought by the noisy atmosphere the album creates, starts taking a perfect shape already from the second listen, and gets better and better every time.
‘Not Your Kind Of People’ differentiates itself from the previous Garbage albums in one defining trait: the band’s previous records had a futuristic approach, showing that they always had to be ahead of their time, while ‘Not Your Kind Of People’ seems to jump into the past. It takes back the listener to the ‘90s, in an elegant and excellent way. Without resulting as an outdated album, it takes some of the best characteristics of the ‘90s sounds and authenticity, and re-freshens them.
The best tracks of the record are ‘Automatic Systematic Habit,’ ‘Big Bright World,’ ‘Not Your Kind Of People,’ ‘Battle In Me,’ and ‘Man On Wire.’ The record ends with ‘Beloved Freak,’ a sweet ballad that generates an almost magical atmosphere. The whole record is a perfect combination of the different approaches followed in the songs, resulting in a unique and smooth picture.
It spreads a strong feeling of acquired self-consciousness, which is not represented by order, but by energetic chaos instead. A genuine and brave raw album, which is destined to gloriously win or to badly fail with the listener. Here, it won.
Rating: EXCELLENT 4/5
Image Courtesy of Garbage