Music » Livewire

Garbage

With Abandoned Pools. Saturday, April 20, at the Agora Theatre.

by

comment
Garbage
  • Garbage
We want to love Shirley Manson. We want Shirley Manson to love us. Because if she doesn't, she'd probably try to kill us, which would complicate our attempts to love her.

It helps when she doesn't make crappy albums.

There's a good reason you've heard and read little about Beautiful Garbage, Garbage's much-anticipated third release: It stinks. It catches our beloved three-producers-and-an-enigmatic-British-quasi-bombshell collective at an artistic crossroads, between the grungy, flashy rock of its youth and the precise, surgical electro-pop it seems enamored of lately. Put 'em together and whaddya get? Britney Spears. Run, don't walk.

It's especially disappointing given Garbage's still-enormous talent and potential. Manson's a great, mercurial rock diva, howling and hissing and slithering and making those words really mean something. And the high-concept pop clatter around her matches the ante. "Only Happy When It Rains" and "Push It" rank among the best singles those diaper-dandy days of alterna-rock produced, trumping surly testosterone with pure feminized rage and compelling us to dance (or at least slam dance) in the process.

Yeah, you can hear traces of that ability on Beautiful Garbage, mostly in the disc's slower, quieter, more maudlin set pieces (e.g., "Cup of Coffee"). But the rest is overwrought teen-pop farce. Perhaps a few beautiful failures are inevitable. No love affair is perfect, after all. Particularly those that eventually kill you.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.