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In our 'Re: View' section, in which our writers look back at albums from the past, Zena Greig reflects on Garbage's 2001 third album 'Beautiful Garbage', which is being released in a remastered, expanded version.
Two decades on from the release of their third album, ‘Beautiful Garbage’, Garbage have now released a new remastered version.
The timing of the original release, just three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, unsurprisingly had an impact on the success of the record, with it failing to attract the same critical notice and acclaim as its predecessors. This anniversary 64-track edition also contains bonus discs of out-takes as well as other live material, with a homage to Lou Reed on ‘Candy Says’, an excellent cover of the Rolling Stones ‘Wild Horses’, and a surprising foray into U2’s ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’.
Scottish frontwoman and musician Shirley Manson feels that the album will finally now garner the praise it deserves: “We have always felt it was an album that was ahead of its time. Rock and pop are more eclectic now than they were 20 years ago so re-releasing the album in 2021 just feels right to us.”
Highlights include: the opener (and single) ‘Shut Your Mouth’; the rock/pop/funk single ‘Androgyny’; Sixties-style pop song ‘Can’t Cry These Tears’; the grief-driven ‘Cup Of Coffee’ with its raw lyrics by Manson and Duke Erikson; the powerful alternative LGBTQ anthem ‘Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)’, played regularly still in the band’s live sets; the single ‘Breaking Up The Girl’, foreshadowing today’s cancel culture with its sombre lyrics: “My friend you must be careful/They’ve a million ways to kill you”; and the unsentimental, uplifting ‘Parade’: “As far as I can tell/It doesn’t matter who you are/If you can believe there’s something worth fighting for…/Believing in nothing/Makes life so boring/So let’s pray for something/To feel good in the morning.”
'Beautiful Garbage' was originally an album which expanded on rock basics, featuring electronica fused with contemporary hip hop, influences ranging from 1980s New Wave to 1960s girl groups. Now, 'Beautiful Garbage’ by this unconventional, melodically exuberant and engrossing band, more than stands the test of time.
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