Bleed Like Me

Bleed Like Me

4.6 10
by Garbage
     
 

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The members of Garbage have been through a lot over the course of the four years since the release of their last album, Beautiful Garbage -- from serious health issues to bouts of infighting that nearly split the band for good. The recovery process hasn't brought about any mellowing, though, as evidenced by the kicking andSee more details below

Overview

The members of Garbage have been through a lot over the course of the four years since the release of their last album, Beautiful Garbage -- from serious health issues to bouts of infighting that nearly split the band for good. The recovery process hasn't brought about any mellowing, though, as evidenced by the kicking and screaming that permeate Bleed Like Me. In fact, it sounds as if it's had just the opposite effect. The electro-pop tones of their last offering have been replaced by brash, brawling guitars that propel the gnarled "Metal Heart" and the glammy "Run Baby Run." Singer Shirley Manson has also undergone something of an attitude adjustment, abandoning her come-hither approach in favor of a manic delivery that's alternately pissed-off and pleading -- and sometimes, as in the passive-aggressive love/hate missive "Why Do You Love Me?," both in the same breath. Manson's pique reaches its peak on the furiously cathartic "Bad Boyfriend," on which Foo Fighter Dave Grohl returns to the drum kit for a guest appearance. It's the disc's stark title track that really seals the deal, however, with Manson's steely intonation of lines like "You should see my scars" -- referring to wounds that are visible throughout, a sight that would be frightening, if not for the healing and strengthening that's every bit as palpable.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As polished and professional as it was, Garbage's third album, Beautiful Garbage, killed whatever momentum the quartet had as the LP commercially crashed and burned not long after its fall 2001 release. Subsequently, the band faded out of view, taking a long hiatus before regrouping in 2004 to record their fourth album, Bleed Like Me, which was finally released in the spring of 2005. Although it was released halfway through the first decade of the 21st century, it belongs to the midpoint of the last decade of the 20th century, sounding like a virtual Cliff Notes of the sounds, themes, and styles of the post-grunge '90s. As they beefed up the guitars, the band have toned down some of the electronica underpinnings that have been present since their debut -- they've not been excised, merely subdued, so this is still recognizably the work of a group that called their second album Version 2.0 with their tongue firmly planted in cheek. But Garbage don't just hark back to their earlier work on Bleed Like Me, they conjure all kinds of ghosts from the '90s, building "Sex Is Not the Enemy" on a Kim Deal bassline, while pasting together a guitar riff straight off of Stone Temple Pilots' Purple and a chorus from Elastica's classic "Stutter" for the album's first single, "Why Do You Love Me." Other sounds of the '90s flutter throughout the album -- the title track reaches back even further, as its cavalcade of misfits uncannily recalls Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" in its structure, sentiment, and melody -- while lead singer/lyricist Shirley Manson trots out a litany of doomed relationships, kinky sex, wallowing despair, teenage cutters, and hostile confrontations, all topics that were de rigueur for '90s alt-rock. Manson doesn't seem like she's pandering -- several songs appear to cut close to the bone, suggesting that she's been through a particularly painful breakup recently -- and neither do the band. They're all old pros and they construct their music well, so it's hooky and loudly stylish. Problem is, it's a style that's about ten years out of date. Bleed Like Me doesn't sound like a revival, it feels like it's out of time, as if the band doesn't quite know how to do anything else but sound like it's the heyday of post-grunge alt-rock. Since the band's drummer and chief sonic architect, Butch Vig, helped create that sound with the albums he produced for Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and L7, that's not a surprise, nor is it necessarily a disappointment, because the music is not bad. He and his colleagues remain talented, capable professionals, crafting an appealing, tightly constructed album that plays to the group's strengths. It's an enjoyable record, but it's hard to escape the nagging feeling that Garbage has painted itself into a corner: they haven't found a way to expand their sound, to make it richer or mature -- they can only deliver more of the same. While they may be able to do this well, it is nevertheless more of the same.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/2005
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0602498801512
catalogNumber:
000419512
Rank:
45667

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Garbage   Primary Artist
Dave Grohl   Drums,Guest Appearance
Shirley Manson   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Steve Marker   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Voices,Noise
Butch Vig   Bass,Drums,Electric Guitar
Duke Erikson   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Mellotron
Matt Walker   Drums
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass

Technical Credits

Steve Marker   Programming,Bass Programming
Butch Vig   Programming
Garbage   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Duke Erikson   Programming,Atmosphere
John King   Audio Production
Sophie Muller   Video Editor,Video Director
Ryan MacMillan   Drum Technician
Emily Lazar   Mastering
Chad Zaemisch   Guitar Techician
Billy Bush   Engineer
Laura Stockton Fox   Production Design
John Stanley King   Producer
Mat Maitland   Montage
Heidi Herzon   Executive Producer
Chris Heuer   Drum Technician
Clay Hutson   Monitor Engineer
Grant Jue   Producer
Mary Ann McCready   Management
David Ravden   Management

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