Review Summary: A nostalgia trip that finds the band not so much returning to their roots, but praising them. This is fine for those familiar with Garbage, but it does lead to relevancy issues arising as well.
Much like The Cranberries releasing Roses earlier this year, Garbage is another notable 90’s alternative rock band fronted by a female, that has released a comeback album from a hiatus that lasted a majority of the 2000’s. Also much like Roses, Not Your Kind of People claims to be the ever so eyebrow-raising return-to-roots album that a band releases after they’ve left an impact and aged well beyond it, typically dropping the age-dodging attempts of experimentation of their last few albums in favor of a reminder of the good old days gone by. The Cranberries’ approach to a return to roots album was to embrace their age and look back upon their youth with a veteran’s wisdom, attempting to find the right touch that compliments their old sound and their present characters. And a return to roots can be difficult, you want to feel and come off as fresh as you did back then, but the times themselves can conflict with this.
Garbage couldn’t be any more optimistic about revisiting their past though, they willingly jump right back into their glory days in every way, as if looking at an old photo album and laughing and reminiscing, excited about conjuring up and reflecting on those old experiences, desiring to revive them. Garbage is smart though, they don’t come off as if they’re forcing and urging this old sound to be relevant, they simply have as much of a good time as they can doing this, more like boasting loudly and proudly about how great this sound was, and how well it was done, as if sharing the photo album and it’s memories and experiences with other and discussing them highly.
Instead of trying to drag you back into the time, it’s a nostalgia trip that highlights and showcases the best of the true essence of Garbage in its heyday, not trying to prove it’s relevant, but that it was and still does hold up as good music. More or so like a theme park ride with bright lights that celebrates the particular theme, and lets you tour it on a rail-guided car, all hands must remain in the car obviously, but even as only a viewer, one is viewing the best of it in a nutshell.
Everything any old fan loved, and anything any new fan would love is found on this album. Alternative rock not consistently gritty enough to be considered Grunge all the time, tinged with almost ethereal electronica beats and mixed so well by Butch Vig that they never overpower each other or seem out of line wit the impression they both work to convey. Lead by Shirley Manson’s performance that’s sometimes hazily drawn out seduction, and sometimes almost as energetic as a riot grrrl, this is the most praised spirit of the band, that on this album is at it’s most praised by the band itself.
Unfortunately though, a theme park or photo album is only limited to being a viewer, and is inevitably not as the great as experiencing the original itself. Garbage familiars have a lot to love on this album for its nostalgic value, but new fans are still better off hearing the older stuff which does the original Garbage sound best and most likely always will. This album does avoid being a mediocre and bland rehash of a band sounding old and outdated, because it sounds anything but boring by giving off such an exciting and proud feeling of accomplishment over this sound, that makes any listener want to love it to.
Listener’s may be faced with a bit of a battle between nostalgia, and relevancy throughout the album, and at this point the sounds that Garbage brought to the alternative rock scene during the Grunge explosion aren’t as effective and not as much of a big deal now as they where when they where ground-breaking and in the element of their time, but this album is not something old in that it should be thrown away, as it is definitely not garbage.