There’s No Garbage Here
Shirley Manson and the guys are back with “Not Your Kind of People,” Garbage’s first album since “Bleed Like Me” (2005). Releasing for the first time on their own label, “NYKOP” proves Garbage has just as much musical prowess and dauntless attitude to make their loyal legion of fans fall in love with their music all over again.
“NYKOP” opens with “Automatic Systematic Habit,” a compelling electronic pop-rock track brimming with Manson’s indignation at men who “love those lies.” She instigates, “Tell your mother, tell your brother, tell your friends, tell your teacher, / I won’t be your dirty little secret.” Segue three tracks in to the infectious single “Blood For Poppies” — its sinister guitar bends and vibratos are backed by the nostalgic ’90s-pop percussion that makes this track perfect for rocking out and dancing.
At the center of the album is “I Hate Love,” easily a candidate for the best track. The song powerfully combines electronic beats, orchestral atmosphere and irresistible guitar riffs in perfect execution. This song just has it.
Winding down over a couple more darkly fun tracks (“Sugar, “Man on a Wire”), the album comes to a close with “Beloved Freak.” It utilizes a wealth of synthesizer ambiance that rings out behind pretty and simple piano notes. It’s something the kids from today and yesterday can listen to and learn from as Manson concludes with the uplifting line, “There you stand, beloved freak, / Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
Garbage infuses a spirit of unapologetic defiance with brief moments of tenderness on this electro-rock journey that is “NYKOP.” It can easily be shuffled with tracks from past albums, with songs like “Blood for Poppies” and “Felt” channeling the mid-’90s dark alternative sweetness. Manson’s strong, biting lyrics, on top of rollicking strings and sublime synth melodies, show that Garbage can accomplish what they do best without receding into redundancy.
Garbage lovers: Pick up the deluxe version of “NYKOP,” which contains four extra tracks, including “What Girls Are Made Of,” Manson’s deliciously assertive ode to female empowerment.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5