28 January 2008

"i think i'm paranoid" || garbage || 1998

Garbage is one of those bands that got lost in the sea of alternative rockers and grungers that was abound in the '90s. However, I maintain that they deserve their own cruise liner to stay afloat.

This Scottish-Wisconsin band is something special. As I noted, their music is a very healthy blend of grunge and alternative rock, and Shirley Manson has a very unique set of pipes, which takes their music to a new and exciting level. If anything, one might refer to is as "fem post-grunge," because that's essentially what it is: Their lyrics have the cynical grunger mentality of failed relationships and a bleak world, but their music strays from the grunger form and becomes very "hard candy," which to me qualifies them as alt rockers.

Shirley Manson is downright sexy. There is simply no way around it. I have no idea if its her unusual voice, her abundance of eye makeup, her dark image, or her angsty lyrics, but my goodness...she turns me on.

I chose this track because I think it's their most accessible, which is interesting as it wasn't their biggest hit. Everyone in the US seems to know "Stupid Girl," which is a fantastic track in its own right, but I think this one is much more intriguing. It begins in typical grunger fashion, with minor-key lyrics, melodies and chorus, but then turns suddenly into a bridge that is so upliftingly alt-rock that it almost brings tears to the eyes. It's almost as if Shirley goes straight from defiance to suddenly pleading with a lover whom she wants so badly that she'll change herself in any way they wish. The final verse is angsty and defiant, yet it still sounds like she's pleading, which leaves us feeling a little paranoid ourselves.

Garbage might win my all-time award for Most Under-Appreciated Band. Think about it. You knew who they were before you started reading this post, didn't you? You could name at least two of their songs, right? You knew that Shirley Manson was the lead singer, right?

And now you're going to give them another listen, right?

As a side note, this song was a fantastic choice for inclusion in the video game Rock Band.

Listen to it here.