Thursday, May 19, 2005

Garbage: Bleed Like Me

Am listening to Garbage's new album, Bleed Like Me.

If I were to rate the songs on each Garbage album, overall I'd give Version 2.0 the higher rating of the first three albums, just because I like the songs on that album more evenly. However, I like the feel, attitude, and sound of the first album the best.

Bleed Like Me is like a combination of the first two albums (thank goodness, because I really didn't like Beautiful Garbage). It's got more edge but the uniquely jarring 'garbage' sound of the first album is still non-existant. The overall sound of the album is more in a punk vein with driving beats and rhythm guitar. Vocally, Shirley seems to sing with moderation, so though the material is lyrically edgier, she doesn't quite have the dark, commanding tone she had on the first two albums.

That said, the album feels too short - it's only 45 minutes long with 11 songs. Either some of the songs need to be extended or they needed another two songs on here. This isn't to say it makes the album bad; it's kind of the same with Neko Case, whose songs usually average at a length of 3 minutes each, making her albums around a half hour in length each.

The album overall has a consistent feel, a strong theme. Not quite as catchy for singing along as Version 2.0.

Overall, I'm pleasantly suprised; it's different than I thought it would be - it talks about the dark places without dwelling in them, is how I'd put it. A nice recovery after their last album, at least for me, since I didn't like the last album. They kind of brought back the strong pulsing beat of the guitars and drums that was signature Garbage from the first two albums.

1) "Bad Boyfriend" has bite remeniscent of "Medication" and "I Think I'm Paranoid".

2) "Run Baby Run" is my favorite; sounds like a radio hit the way it is structured. Again, a blend of the lighter songs off the two first albums. Reminds me of some of the songs from Hole's Celebrity Skin album.

3) "Right Between the Eyes" is another lighter feeling song, also guitar driven, though. Goes with "Run Baby Run".

4) "Why Do You Love Me" seems to draw from punk music in its structure, particularly the guitar riffs. Probably has the most repetitive chorus ever written by Garbage; I don't know if I like it or if it'll annoy me.

5) "Bleed Like Me" is probably the darkest song they've ever written as far as content, about self abuse, hurt. From struggling with gender identity to cutting and suicide. This song has the closest feel to the first album, polished dysfunction. Now this is Garbage.

6) "Metal Heart" is another darker song, faster paced and very mechanical feeling; edgy.

7) "Sex is Not the Enemy" is a pro-sex song that for some reason brings to mind the B-52's on crack with lots of electric guitars.

8) "It's All Over But the Crying" is the first slower song, has a piano in it. Don't know what to say about it.

9) "Boys Wanna Fight"... 'but the girls are happy to dance all night'. Fuzzed out lyrics, moshing beat kinda. By this point the album has kept up such an even beat that it all feels like it blurrs together.

10) "Why Don't You Come Over" has this off-kilter chord progression and vocal melodies remeniscent of mid-career Suzanne Vega in the chorus, except with electric guitars.

11) "Happy Home" is the last mellowish song that has a slightly different sound structure, enough to stick with you at the end. It doesn't remind me of anything, which is probably good at this point. Original is good.

Overall the album isn't as innovative and interesting as either of Garbage's first two albums and I really don't find myself wanting to go out of my way to listen to Bleed Like Me. If you're a diehard fan, then you'll like the album but if you're growing out of the band then it's possible to do without this album.

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