Thursday, September 23, 2010

Garbage, Beautiful Garbage

Garbage, Beautiful Garbage

I've had this album on my iPhone for several weeks; a friend of mine gave it to me with a bunch of other stuff a while back. It's on my "songs" playlist, which I often listen to on shuffle, and as occasional Garbage songs kept coming up, I made a note to myself to listen to the whole album. And then shuffle presented with "Shut Your Mouth," and I liked the song so much that the album moved to the top of my listening list, and I listened to it while running yesterday.

"Shut Your Mouth" is the opener, and it is really good. The lyrics move at a fairly simply level, but they are biting, bitter and ironic enough to make more out of the simple text: "And the world spins by / With everybody moaning / Pissing, bitching and everyone is shitting / On their friends / On their love / On their oaths / On their honor / On their graves / Out their mouths / And their words say nothing / Shut your mouth / Try not to panic / Just shut your mouth / If you can do it." And the music: a thumping beat, effective distorted guitar, well-mixed vocals, a sinister overall feel. Good stuff.

But the rest of the album, frankly, makes "Shut Your Mouth" seem like an accident. The music is less interesting, the lyrics remain simple and sink into the worst kind of clichéd phrases, and the mix puts the words front and center so that you can't just ignore them and get into the groove. If Iron and Wine's lyrics are good enough to deserve more prominence in the mix, Garbage's lyrics should be downplayed, rather than emphasized!

Final analysis: one great song (I've been listening to it again while typing, and it's a great song!), and an otherwise boring record that even makes the great song seem weaker. (And the live video is nowhere near as good as the recording.)

No comments: