Mtv's Version 2.0 Review

By Alexandra Flood

It's pretty risky for a band to choose a name like "Garbage." It leaves them open to easy pot shots from journalists and critics who can't resist making cheap puns like "Garbage stinks!" or "It's time to take this trash out!" But if the band is well-received, then of course none of this matters. The press then writes cutesy things like "Garbage knows the sweet smell of success" or "Anything but Garbage in this pail." Luckily for the band, they were well-received when their self-titled debut album hit the streets, and they were spared the bad puns, just not the cute ones.

Beyond being well-received, Garbage's first album made a giant splash in '95, and frontwoman Shirley Manson, the rock-sexy, red-headed Scot, became a bit of a media darling, though thankfully without reaching that critical too-much-of-a-good-thing over-saturation point that can taint even the most talented artists.

However, I have a confession to make. I was not one of those in a tizzy about Garbage's debut. I thought they were good, but just not... great. Most of their songs lacked that extra dimension that makes music truly extraordinary. I attributed the majority of their big success to the legitimate vixenish appeal and velour voice of Shirley Manson. Regardless, many were left to speculate about where this "forward-thinking" band, as they were called by some, would go next. The members of Garbage were definitely feeling the pressure of this expectation.

Well, you can all relax (Garbage included), because their highly- anticipated sophomore effort, Version 2.0, is better than their debut. What was merely good is now bordering on great. Where their debut was a feet-wetting freshman outing, their second record is more powerful. It is more complex. It has more depth and musical sophistication. It is exactly what a second version should be: an improvement upon the first without being a complete departure. Each track on 2.0 shifts and wends and rocks. These are big songs with no shortage of beats and grooves; tunes that are larger-than-life toe tappers ("When I Grow Up"), hip shakers ("Dumb"), and head boppers ("Sleep Together"). Garbage has grown up. Their sound has matured into genuine oomph.

Take the first track, "Temptation Waits." It's a rock/disco anthem about obsessive love. It begins with Manson singing to a light dance beat: "I'll tell you something/I may be a wolf but/I like to wear sheep's clothing." The song then escalates to the next level with guitar and keyboards, and then it builds again to a soaring refrain, but it doesn't stop there. Continuous changing movements make it not only good, but also interesting. "Temptation Waits" is in itself a wolf in sheep's clothing. It comes on subdued at first, but opens up into a memorable, downright danceable, single-bound song.

This type of complexity appears on the entire record, with songs like the smooth-yet-energetic-rocky "I Think I'm Paranoid," "Push It" (with its Brian Wilson-borrowed-with-permission silky refrain, "Don't worry baby"), and "Wicked Ways." "The Trick Is to Keep Breathing" and "You Look So Fine" run neck and neck for the title of most ambient, as well as prettiest song on the record.

Garbage's Version 2.0 snaps, pops, and rocks. Don't wait to download.

Отредактировано eyedol (23.03.2007 23:24)