2.0 Garbage-(Almo Sounds)
The surprise success of Garbage's debut album took
this band from being a vanity project for producer Bruce Vig and a bunch of studio boffins
with a hot British bird fronting into an actual working rock band.
This new sense of
permanence works in this follow-up's favor, giving a sense of cohesion and purpose. The
greatest strength of Version 2.0 is Shirley Manson's flowering into one of the
strongest frontwomen in rock, much in the tradition of tough rock chicks like Chrissy
Hynde and Debbie Harry.
Today women in rock seem to be divided into the "look at me,
I'm so sad I'm going to develop an eating disorder" camp of the Lilith troops, or the
"men suck" shouting of punks. Manson takes pain and suffering as a challenge and
will let a man hurt her, but never destroy her. The words of the rocker "When I Grow
Up" and the haunting "Push It" may be sad, but Manson is a survivor. (7/98)
Jay S. Jacobs