Garbage: Not Your Kind of People

    It’s no longer the 90s, and Garbage has updated their sound accordingly. Lead singer Shirley Manson has been repping the outcasts and misfits of society since the band’s mega-hit, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” became the glorious anthem for angsty goths everywhere. But after a seven year hiatus, Garbage’s fifth studio album Not Your Kind Of People tries to stay true to their original attitude, but with an updated and glossy techno pop sound, resulting in glaring contradiction. 

    The title track, “Not Your Kind Of People” is a down-tempo, relatively quiet number, whose lyrics “We are not your kind of people / you seem kind of phony / everything’s a lie” hit listeners over the head with how ‘alternative’ Garbage still is — but, in doing so, seem to constantly emphasize the band’s fall from youthful relevance. 

    Opener “Automatic Systematic” kicks off with an uncharacteristically catchy techno beat — a sigh-inducing surrender to mainstream pop aesthetics — spinning into a repetitive pop chorus that finds Manson chanting, “I don’t want to be your dirty little secret,” borrowing lyrics from, of all places, sugar-sweet rockers the All American Rejects. It’s a bit unnerving, not to mention sad, to hear such a sexually confident and respected female rock star sing like a tween-pop princess. 

    “Control” is the only song off the album that seems to hone close to the band’s grungy and earnest alt sound, with louder guitar riffs, grittier vocals and a headbanger chorus. But the effort is ultimately too little too late in an album that leaves us wanting less glitzy pop rehash and more Garbage. (5/10)

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