Garbage - Beautifulgarbage This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Thehappiness of picking up "Beautifulgarbage," the third album byShirley Manson-led Garbage (a band I've admired since their self-titleddebut) faded after several thorough listens. The in-your-face,sexy-yet-strong grunge vocals and lyrics of femme fatale Manson weretraded for a vulnerable, "stupid girl" sound.

While I'mall for a band reinventing themselves and trying new things, Garbagetook a wrong turn somewhere. A group that once had lyrics with punch,like "Vow's" "You burned me out but I'm back at yourdoor/Like Joan of Arc coming back for more" has dumbed down to"Cup of Coffee's" "So no, of course, we can't befriends/Not while I'm still this obsessed."

The firstsingle, "Androgyny," is awkward, as is "Til the Day IDie," the result of a band way too happy to receive a mixingmachine. Interspersing electronic sounds and giving Manson an androidvoice isn't cutting edge, it's annoying. (This CD is enhanced; put it inyour computer and you too can remix overmixed songs!)

Imagine mydismay when I heard "Cherry Lips" come on and the band's lastredeeming quality - those sexy vocals - were gone. Instead, Shirleysports a higher-pitched voice, almost like that of a child (most likelyin reference to the lyrics, about a young girl gone back). The upbeatmelody contradicts the dreary subject, which may have seemed like a goodidea at the time, but isn't.

The album does have its high points,and some tracks eventually grow on you. "Shut Your Mouth" isclassic Garbage: raw, powerful, angry, and outspoken. The hard riff in"Silence is Golden" reels you in and Shirley's snarling voicespits you back out.

That fiery-haired, fair-skinned heroine ofgirls I once looked up to is now just a few steps away from being alovelorn teenager. "I just don't care anymore/I've reached the endof the road" she wails, leaving this Garbage fan wondering if itreally is the end of the band I once knew, wondering if they've foreversuccumbed to pop music.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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